High Blood Pressure: Are You at Risk?

by Amanda Lively, FNP-C


High blood pressure, known as hypertension, affects more than half of American adults. High blood pressure or hypertension increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, congestive heart failure, and kidney disease. Due to these risks, it is important to keep your blood pressure controlled.

How To Take Your Blood Pressure:

How To Take Your Blood Pressure by Gagon Family Medicine

Track your blood pressure at home with a properly calibrated blood pressure machine. You can get one over the counter at most pharmacies. Before you take your blood pressure remember to:

  • Have the right size cuff for your arm
  • Sit quietly for 5-10 minutes
  • Have your feet flat on the floor and your back supported
  • Do not smoke, drink caffeine, or exercise 30 minutes beforehand
  • Have the cuff above the bend of your arm and at the same level as your heart

You should check your blood pressure in the morning and evening and always keep a log so you can share it with your provider. If your blood pressure is higher than 130/80 it is uncontrolled, and you should make an appointment to see your primary care provider. Your primary care provider can help you control your blood pressure with medication and/or lifestyle changes.