Blood Pressure Facts

Blood Pressure Facts

Blood Pressure Facts

Blood pressure is the force of the flowing blood against the arteryor blood vessel walls. It is measured with two numbers: 120/80. The first number (120) isthe systolic pressure – which is when the heart contracts and pumps blood through thebody. The lower number (80) is the diastolic pressure – the pressure in the bloodvessel between pumps when the heart is at rest.

Normal blood pressure is 120/80. High blood pressure or hypertensionis considered a blood pressure reading that is equal to or greater than 140/90 for anextended period of time. Elevated blood pressure means that your heart and arteries mustwork harder than normal.

Elevated blood pressure is also called high blood pressure or"hypertension." This is a condition when the blood pressure remains elevatedover a period of time. Approximately 50 million Americans have hypertension or are takinghigh blood pressure medication.

Common causes of high blood pressure are kidney or thyroid disease.Other factors such as age, genetics, stress, obesity, smoking, high-salt diet, smoking andan inactive lifestyle can contribute to the likelihood of getting high blood pressure.

High blood pressure has no specific or easily recognized symptoms.Some symptoms that may be associated with high blood pressure are headaches, unexplainablenosebleeds, dizziness, and irregular or racing heartbeats. Hypertension is seriousbusiness and if left unchecked may cause other health problems including heart attack,stroke, kidney damage and blindness.

 Link to the American Heart Association for more information.

Tampa Fire Rescue offers free blood pressure checks at each of thefire stations. Trained firefighters will record your blood pressure on a complimentarycard so that you can track your blood pressure for evaluation by a physician.