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 Blood Pressure

What is blood pressure?

Blood pressure measures how strongly blood presses against the walls of the arteries as it is pumped around your body by your heart. If the pressure is too high it puts extra strain on your heart and your arteries so it makes you more likely to have a stroke or a heart attack.

About 30-40% of people in Ireland have high blood pressure but many don’t know.  The only way of knowing if you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure measured.

Your blood pressure has two figures for example 120/80.  The top figure is called your systolic blood pressure which is the pressure against the wall of the artery when the heart pumps.  The second figure is the is called the diastolic pressure and this is the pressure when the heart relaxes.

Blood pressure results:

  • Less than 120 mmHg(systolic)and less than 80mmHg (diastolic) is optimal
  • 120-129 mmHg (systolic) and/or 80-84 mmHg (diastolic) is normal
  • 130-139 mmHg (systolic) and/or 85-89 mmHg (diastolic) is high normal
  • Greater than 140 mmHg (systolic) and 90 mmHg(diastolic) is hypertension (high blood pressure)

What are the recommendations for managing blood pressure?

  • Reduce your weight
  • Increase your physical activity  to 150 minutes per week gradually.
  • Drink Alcohol in moderation only remember 17 units per week for men and 11 units per week for women.
  • Limit your salt intake
  • Increase your consumption of fruits, vegetables and low fat dairy products
  • Take your medication as prescribed by your doctor.

At Heart 2 Heart we offer programmes to help you in managing your blood pressure through lifestyle changes.

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