Blood pressure is an important cardiovascular disease risk factor. If your blood pressure is too high, it can increase your chances of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney failure, eye disease and other cardiovascular disease such as heart failure.
Your blood pressure measurement is made up of two parts:
Pressure in the artery as the heart contracts called systolic pressure – the top number
Pressure in the artery when the heart is between beats called diastolic pressure – the bottom number
High blood pressure or hypertension is defined by your systolic pressure being higher than 140mmHg and/or your diastolic pressure being higher than 90 mmHg, however your GP may set you a different target blood pressure based on your circumstances. Generally speaking, if your blood pressure is lower, your cardiovascular risk is lower. You often don’t present with any symptoms if you have high blood pressure, which is why it’s important to check; however, some people with high blood pressure may experience headaches and/or dizziness.
Causes of high blood pressure aren’t always clear but some risk factors may include:
- A diet high in salt
- High alcohol consumption
- A family history of high blood pressure
- Being overweight
- Lack of exercise
Your friendly Ramsay Pharmacist can recommend a plan to tackle some of these risk factors and arrange a GP consultation should your health check present any warning signs.
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