Nearly 1 in 3 American Adults (about 65 million) has high blood pressure. Once high blood pressure develops, it usually lasts a lifetime. The good news is that it can be treated and controlled. Many people get high blood pressure as they get older. Over half of all Americans aged 60 and older have high blood pressure. This is not a part of healthy aging!
What is Blood Pressure?
Blood is carried from the heart to all parts of your body in vessels called arteries. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of the arteries. Each time the heart beats (about 60-70 times a minute at rest), it pumps out blood into the arteries. Your blood pressure is at its highest when the heart beats, pumping the blood. This is called systolic (sis-TOL-ik) pressure. When the heart is at rest, between beats, your blood pressure falls. This is the diastollic (di-a-STOL-ik) pressure. Blood pressure is always given at these two number, the systolic and diastollic pressures. Both are important.
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