Education is Key: Monitoring High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is increasingly prevalent among the American community, with an estimated 103 million U.S. adults having this condition. This number is expected to continue rising due to factors such as increasing life expectancy and an aging population. Only about half of those with high BP have it under control.
To survive, your heart beats approximately 70 times per minute and pumps an impressive 5 to 7 liters of oxygen-enriched blood to different parts of your body. As the heart beats and rests, it creates pressure pushing blood through a network of blood vessels made up of capillaries, arteries, and veins.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is described as having a higher than normal pressure of the blood in your blood vessels. Your heart and blood vessels must work harder and become less efficient when pressure increases beyond acceptable levels. In time, the friction caused by high BP can damage the delicate tissues inside the arteries and plaque caused by bad cholesterol can begin to form in these tiny tears – a condition called atherosclerosis.
Risk factors which increase the likelihood of high blood pressure include age, family history, current health conditions, and your lifestyle. Along with high BP come risks such as an increased likelihood of heart attack or stroke. For this reason, it’s vital that people be aware of their blood pressure readings and take action to stay healthy.
Monitoring your blood pressure from the comfort of your home is a proactive way to stay on top of your health. It’s important to keep track on how your blood pressure is fairing, and this can be done by using a wrist or upper arm blood pressure monitor. Much like the devices used in hospitals, these home devices utilize a fabric cuff, which when inflated around the wrist or upper arm, provide the machine with a reading to determine your blood pressure levels and can indicate if you are at higher risk.
You should always seek advice from a medical professional and use the blood pressure monitor as an aid to help you track where you are. You don’t have to be a statistic. Take action to protect yourself and live the long and healthy life you wish for!