eliminate disparities,” Krumholz, a professor of medicine and director of CORE shares.
“The lack of progress in reducing racial disparities in hospitalizations for acute hypertension highlight the need for new approaches to address both medical and nonmedical factors that contribute to such disparities,” he adds.
How do you know if you have high blood pressure?
Blood pressure is considered elevated when you have consistent systolic readings of 130 mm Hg or higher or diastolic readings of 80 mm Hg or higher, according to the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
High blood pressure is often referred to as the “silent killer” because it is largely symptomless. Therefore the best way to know if your blood pressure is elevated is to regularly check your numbers. You can even invest in an at-home blood pressure machine that will electronically send your readings to your doctor so that they can keep track of your blood pressure.
Although high blood pressure is largely symptomless, the following symptoms may be related to high blood pressure:
- Blood spots in the eyes: Blood spots in the eyes are more common in people with diabetes or high blood pressure, although neither condition causes blood spots.
- Facial flushing: Facial flushing occurs when blood vessels in the face dilate. Although high blood pressure is not the cause of facial flushing, many symptoms such as emotional stress, exposure to heat or hot water, alcohol consumption and exercise can temporarily raise your blood pressure.
- Dizziness: Dizziness should not be ignored, especially if the onset is sudden. Sudden dizziness, loss of balance or coordination and trouble walking are signs of a stroke. High blood pressure is the leading sign of a stroke.
Managing your blood pressure
Making the following changes will help keep your blood pressure under control:
- Eat a well-balanced diet that’s low in salt
- Limit alcohol
- Enjoy regular physical activity
- Manage stress
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Quit smoking
- Take your medications properly
- Work together with your doctor
If you make those changes and stay consistent with a heart-healthy diet, you will be able to see the following results:
- Reduced high blood pressure.
- Prevented or delayed development of high blood pressure.
- Enhanced effectiveness of blood pressure medications.
- Lowered risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure, kidney damage, vision loss and sexual dysfunction.
Managing high blood pressure is a lifelong commitment, but it is important to listen to your doctor and remember that you and your doctor are partners in this journey.