High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is the force of blood flow against the inside lining of arteries. If your blood pressure rises and remains high for a long period of time, you face a variety of health risks, including stroke and kidney dysfunction, heart failure and coronary heart disease (CHD). Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHG), and a normal or healthy blood pressure is one that is less than 120/80 mmHg. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is considered anything over 140/90. However, different populations have different targets. Older adults, for example, aren’t being treated as aggressively as they used to be to reach that 120/80 goal, because research has shown that living with a slightly higher blood pressure does not greatly impact health or longevity. Hypertension is usually treated with a combination of medications, such as diuretics, ACE inhibitors, ARBs and other drugs, and a lifestyle that includes a low-sodium and low-fat diet and exercise most days of the week.

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