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Public Health

Posted on: February 5, 2019

American Heart Month

PicOfNursePhyllis-BloodPressureMonitor-2-5-2019

High Blood Pressure, or Hypertension, is a common and dangerous condition.  It's often called the "silent killer" because it has no warning signs or symptoms.  About 1 in 3 people have high blood pressure and only about half of these people have it under control. High blood pressure can increase your risk for heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke.  That's why it's important to check your blood pressure regularly. 

A normal blood pressure is considered to be less than 120/80.  Ask your doctor what your blood pressure should be.  

You can take steps to prevent high blood pressure or control it:

   *Your doctor might prescribe medications - Stay on your medications. Do not stop taking them without checking with your doctor first.

   * Eat a healthy diet that is low in salt and fat.  Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

   *Be active. Try taking a brisk 10 minute walk 3 times a day, 5 days a week.

   *Do not smoke.  If you do smoke, quit as soon as possible.  Talk to your doctor or visit Smokefree.gov (https://smokefree.gov/)  for tips on quitting.


Do the following before having your blood pressure taken to get a proper reading:

   *Be still & seated for 5 minutes

   *Sit with your back supported and feet flat on the floor.

   *Empty your bladder. A full bladder can affect your blood pressure.

   *Don't smoke, exercise, or drink caffeine or alcohol for at least 30 minutes before your BP reading.

   *Your arm should be bare and should be supported at the level of your heart.


The simple process of checking and recording your blood pressure at home, and reporting readings to your doctor, has been shown to help people lower their blood pressure.  Yates County Public Health has partnered with some local doctor's offices for a Blood Pressure Machine Loaner Program.  Ask your doctor's office if they are taking part and if you would benefit from the program.  For further information, contact Yates County Public Health at 315-536-5160. 

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