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Prehypertension

I think my blood pressure is something like 123/85. What's a normal blood pressure?

I think my blood pressure is something like 123/85. What's a normal blood pressure?

It always amazes me that people can rattle off the birth dates of all of their family members but they aren't sure of their own blood pressure numbers. Hypertension increases your risk of stroke, heart attack, kidney and congestive heart failure and visual loss. Take a look at this chart of blood pressure for people over the age of 18. Anything between 120 and 139 over 80-89 is what we're now calling prehypertension. Prehypertension is not an illness but it is an important warning that illness lies ahead. We call it the silent killer because it can do great damage to the arteries before it produces any symptoms. Start getting your blood pressure read more frequently and embarking on some lifestyle changes. The dietary approach to stop hypertension or DASH program is the best. It involves lowering your consumption of animal fat and reducing dietary sodium to 2300 mg a day or less. Just by following this diet, you can lower your systolic blood pressure by 10-22 points. Meditation or other relaxation techniques also have been shown to help and so has exercise. Just a 30-minute walk each day will lower your systolic pressure by another 4-9 points. Do what is necessary now to get your blood pressure under control and start by getting a handle on what it is. From Harvard, I wish you good health.

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