Is your heart older than you are? Use the CDC Heart Age Calculator to find out. Click on the link.
The heart is a vital organ responsible for pumping blood through your body. When the heart beats, it creates pressure that pushes the blood through your network of arteries and veins. Your blood pressure, then, is a result of both the force of the heart working to push blood through the system as well as the resting force between beats. These two forces are each represented by the numbers of a blood pressure reading.
The top number measures the pressure (the MOST amout of presssure) in a person’s arteries when the heart beats, while the bottom number is the pressure reading between heartbeats (the LEAST amout of pressure). For information on a normal, healthy reading, check our Heart Health document.
High blood pressure is typically called the “silent killer” because persons with the condition often show no symptoms. If the force is so strong that the tissue making up the walls of the arteries is continually being stretched, it starts damaging the walls of the blood vessels. The potential problems this causes includes:
- Weakness in the blood vessel wall, making them more likely to rupture
- Scarring in the walls of the arteries and veins
- Clotting which will partially block a vessel so that needed blood cannot get through to the organs
- Starving organs for blood and oxygen
- Heart disease
Know your numbrers! While blood pressure can change minute to minute with posture exercise, stress, etc., it should normally be less than 120/80 mm Hg for an adult age 20 or older.
It is possible to improve your cardiovascular health and lower your blood pressure through diet, exercise and stress management - call your doctor or the nurse at the Clark County Health District to find out how.
Testing is a good way to detect high blood pressure early so that you can take steps to improve and protect your health. Testing is done at the CCCHD on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. There are also opportunities for blood pressure readings in New Carlisle.
Blood Pressure is just one aspect of overall cardiovascular health. There is much to be considered when learning about your cardiovascular status, including diet, activity levels, family history, cholesterol levels and much more. The following links are suggested for your review:
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