Tricia Fleming, University of Kansas Dietetic Intern,
Tammy Beason, MS, RD, Nutrition Education Specialist, Family
Nutrition Education Program. Editor: Candance Gabel, MS, RD, LD
Associate State Nutrition Specialist,
Family Nutrition Education Program
What is Blood Pressure?
Blood Pressure is the force of blood
against the wall of the arteries. Systolic pressure is the pressure as the
heart beats. Diastolic pressure is the pressure while the heart is at
rest. Blood Pressure is written systolic over diastolic. For example,
110/75, 110 is the systolic pressure and 75 is the diastolic pressure.
What is Hypertension?
Hypertension is another term for High Blood
Pressure. High Blood Pressure is diagnosed as a measure of 140/90 on three
Why is High Blood Pressure Important?
High Blood Pressure makes the heart work
too hard, it can make the walls of arteries harden, and it is a major risk
factor for heart disease and stroke. High Blood Pressure has many
complications such as heart failure, kidney disease, and blindness.
Who can develop High Blood Pressure?
Anyone can develop high blood pressure.
Those who are especially at risk are African Americans, older adults
>60, overweight individuals and those who have "high normal"
blood pressures. For example 135-139/85-89 mm Hg.
How can we Prevent and Treat
A major part of both preventing and
treating hypertension is lifestyle modification. Some guidelines are
adopting a healthy lifestyle, following a healthy eating patter,
maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, limiting alcohol,
and quitting smoking.