Hypertension is a condition that causes chronic high blood pressure. It can occur as the result of another disease or condition, or it can occur randomly with no identifiable cause. Doctors diagnose patients with hypertension when their blood pressure is repeatedly above 140 mmHg systolic or 90 mmHg diastolic (140/90).

At a normal level, blood pressure hovers around 120 mmHg systolic and 80 mmHg diastolic (120/90). The first number represents the pressure in the arteries as the blood is pumped forward and the heart contracts. The lower number measures pressure after the heart contracts and relaxes. To be diagnosed with hypertension, you need to experience chronic high blood pressure for an extended period of time. High blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease and stroke so it’s important to know how to lower high blood pressure.

Hypertension risk factors include obesity, drinking too much alcohol, smoking, and family history. Your risk may be higher if you are overweight, if you do not exercise, if you eat a diet that is high in fats and salt, or if you are prone to stress. Americare works with patients that have been diagnosed with hypertension and understands the importance of having one’s blood pressure monitored regularly.