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High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a common and dangerous condition. Having high blood pressure means the pressure of the blood in your blood vessels is higher than it should be. But you can take steps to control your blood pressure and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. About 1 of 3 U.S. adults—or about 75 million people—have high blood pressure.1 Only about half (54%) of these people have their high blood pressure under control.1 Many youth are also being diagnosed with high blood pressure.2 This common condition increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, two of the leading causes of death for Americans.3 Get more quick facts about high blood pressure, or learn more about high blood pressure in the United States.

High blood pressure is called the “silent killer” because it often has no warning signs or symptoms, and many people do not know they have it. That’s why it is important to check your blood pressure regularly.

Find a FREE blood pressure kiosk near you:

 


What YOU Can do:

The good news is that you can take steps to prevent high blood pressure or to control it if your blood pressure is already high.

By living a healthy lifestyle, you can help keep your blood pressure in a healthy range and lower your risk for heart disease and stroke. A healthy lifestyle includes:

  • Eating a healthy diet.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Getting enough physical activity.
  • Not smoking.
  • Limiting alcohol use.

Healthy Diet

Choosing healthful meal and snack options can help you avoid high blood pressure and its complications. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.  Eating foods low in salt (sodium) and high in potassium can lower your blood pressure. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating planExternal is one healthy diet that is proven to help people lower their blood pressure.

For more information on healthy diet and nutrition, see CDC’s Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Program Web site.

 

Healthy Weight

Being overweight or obese increases your risk for high blood pressure. To determine if your weight is in a healthy range, doctors often calculate your body mass index (BMI). If you know your weight and height, you can calculate your BMI at CDC’s Assessing Your Weight Web site. Doctors sometimes also use waist and hip measurements to measure excess body fat.

 

Physical Activity

Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your blood pressure. For adults, the Surgeon General recommends 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, like brisk walking or bicycling, every week. Children and adolescents should get 1 hour of physical activity every day.  For more information, see CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Web site.

 

No Smoking

Cigarette smoking raises your blood pressure and puts you at higher risk for heart attack and stroke. If you do not smoke, do not start. If you do smoke, quitting will lower your risk for heart disease. Your doctor can suggest ways to help you quit.  For more information about tobacco use and quitting, see CDC’s Smoking and Tobacco Use Web site.

 

Limited Alcohol

Avoid drinking too much alcohol, which can raise your blood pressure. Men should have no more than 2 drinks per day, and women only 1. For more information, visit CDC’s Alcohol and Public Health Web site.

Chemung County Health Center
103 Washington Street
Elmira, NY

Public Health
607.737.2028
cchd@chemungcountyny.gov

Environmental Health
607.737.2019
ehs@chemungcountyny.gov
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