Know and Control your blood pressure

Blood pressure measuring. Doctor and patient. Isolated on white background. Health care.

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of an artery as the blood is squeezed from the heart. Your blood pressure goes up and down throughout the day, depending upon what you are doing, your emotional state, or medications that you take. These changes are temporary and normal. Blood pressure that stays high is called hypertension.

Blood pressure is measured by two numbers. The top number is the pressure when the heart contracts (systolic). The bottom number is the pressure when the heart relaxes (diastolic). An example of a healthy blood pressure is 120/80 (“120 over 80”).

For stroke patients, if the top number is consistently higher than 140 or the bottom number is consistently higher than 90, you will likely be diagnosed and treated for high blood pressure (hypertension). If you have diabetes, you will be treated for high blood pressure when the number is higher than 130 / 80 mm Hg. If your number ranges between 130/85 and 139/89, it means that you have high-normal blood pressure and the Canadian Best Practice Guidelines for Stroke recommend you to check your blood pressure at least once a year. Talk with your doctor about your blood pressure and what is a healthy range for you.

High blood pressure can sometimes be controlled through a combination of lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and regular physical activity, or stress management.

Resources that may assist you:

Get Your Blood Pressure Under Control

Blood Pressure Wallet Card



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