World Hypertension Day commemorated

CDC says 1 billion people living with high blood pressure worldwide
Published: May. 17, 2023 at 4:19 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Wednesday, May 17 is World Hypertension Day - dedicated to the importance of monitoring blood pressure.

Here in the United States, more than 122 million adults over 20 have the condition.

When looking at blood pressure, there are two numbers. The top number measures the systolic pressure, or pressure in the arteries when the heart is beating. The bottom umber is diastolic, the pressure in the arteries when the heart is resting.

Cardiac nurse Yvonne Commodore-Mensah says healthy blood pressure is less than 120/80. Anything consistently above 120/80 is considered elevated or high.

“Hypertension is often referred to as a silent killer, because you can have it for years and not know it. So 30% of US adults have hypertension, and don’t know it because there are no symptoms. So you may be walking around the blood pressure that’s elevated, and you may not feel it. And that’s why it’s important to have your blood pressure checked regularly,” she said.

Factors to help reduce high blood pressure include:

  • Regular exercise
  • Eating a heart-healthy diet
  • Reducing stress
  • Taking any blood pressure medications as prescribed