Learn all about heart failure in our
online Heart Failure guide.
You may have high blood pressure and not even know it. High blood pressure puts stress on your blood vessel walls. There are usually no signs or symptoms.
This silent condition (known as hypertension) can lead to:
You should have your blood pressure checked often. Your blood pressure is checked with two numbers. The top number (systolic) shows the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats. The bottom number (diastolic) shows the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests.
You have normal blood pressure if you usually have a top number lower than 120 and a bottom number lower than 80.
See the chart below for general guidelines. Ask your health care provider about what is right for you.
You are at high risk for high blood pressure if you:
* If you have diabetes or heart disease your blood pressure goal is less than 130/80.
You need to have your high blood pressure
treated. If not, you could have a heart attack
or stroke. You can control your high blood
pressure with lifestyle changes and/or with
Your health care provider may decide that you
need to take medicine to control high blood
Your health care provider will find the right
medicine(s) for you.
Important reminders about taking high blood
High blood pressure medicine has side effects.
They may include leg cramps, change in
heartbeat, skin rash, and headaches, among
Talk with your health care provider about
possible side effects before you start taking or
change your high blood pressure medicine(s).
Your blood pressure:
Some of this information is adapted
from the American Heart Association
and the Seventh Report of the Joint
National Committee on Prevention,
Detection, Evaluation and Treatment
of High Blood Pressure (JNC VII).
Allina Health's Patient Education Department, High Blood Pressure (Hypertension):
What You Need To Know, cvs-ah-14036
Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts