Blood pressure is a force that we need to move blood through our bodies. For most adults, normal healthy blood pressure is below 120/80 mm Hg. Blood pressure that is too high or too low can cause serious health problems and even death. Recent guidelines say that high blood pressure (hypertension) is when your blood consistently measures at or above 130/80 mm Hg. Low blood pressure (hypotension) is generally below 90/60 mm Hg.
The most common risk factors include family history and gender. Up until the age of 64, men are more likely to get high blood pressure than women. Also, as we age, the likelihood of high blood pressure increases, according to the American Heart Association.
Your doctor can check your blood pressure using a sphygmomanometer (blood pressure cuff), a device with a rubber armband and cuff that inflates by hand or machine pump. The device measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats (systolic pressure) and when your heart rests (diastolic pressure).
If you have high blood pressure (hypertension), you are at a higher risk of health problems such as heart attack, stroke, and heart disease. High blood pressure usually occurs gradually over time, often because of unhealthy habits such as poor food choices, low physical activity, poor sleep, smoking, and frequent alcohol use. Low blood pressure (hypotension) can be caused by a wide range of medical disorders, or when the diastolic number (lower number) is constantly greater than 90. It is important to find and treat the cause.
If you’re concerned about your blood pressure or any other aspect of your health, Physicians Immediate Care is here for you. Speak with a physician at one of our 50+ locations across the Midwest. We’ll ensure you get the treatment and advice you need to protect your health.