CDC Vital Signs: Getting Blood Pressure Under Control

On September 4th, 2012, CDC released its 25th

issue of VITAL SIGNS, a monthly "call to action"

concerning a single important Public Health topic.

This report focuses on the issue of blood pressure control.

In the United States more than one-third of the

adult population, or approximately 67 million

people, have high blood pressure.

Of those with high blood pressure,

more than half don't have it under control.

High blood pressure makes your 4 times more likely

to die from a stroke...and 3 times more likely to die

from heart disease.

What is high blood pressure and how do we

improve control?

Normal blood pressure is where your SYSTOLIC

pressure, or the top number, less than 120,

and your DIASTOLIC pressure,

or the bottom number, is less than 80.

If you are below this level,

make sure you check your blood pressure at least

twice a year.

If your pressure is 120 to 139 over 80 to 89,

you should monitor it closely,

and make healthy lifestyle changes.

If you have a pressure of 140 over 90 or higher and

you are not already being treated for high blood

pressure, seek medical attention.

If you are being treated, make sure to take your

prescribed medicines.

Ask your healthcare provider to check your

blood pressure during visits, or

to check your own pressure,

you can buy a blood pressure cuff.

You can even get checked for free at many fire

stations and pharmacies.

High blood pressure has few warning signs.

Don't wait until it's too late to control your


Get your blood pressure checked regularly.

Remind your healthcare provider or your pharmacist

to talk to you about your pressure and know the

warning signs.

Be physically active.

If you smoke, get help to quit.

Practice other good health behaviors,

and take prescribed medicines as directed.

High blood pressure is within your control.