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Glossary of terms

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High blood pressure, HBP or hypertension

High blood pressure, HBP or hypertension is defined as:
  • systolic blood pressure of 140 or higher or diastolic blood pressure of 90 or higher;
  • taking medicine to lower blood pressure;
  • being told twice by a doctor or other healthcare professional that you have hypertension.
 
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart attack, stroke, heart failure and kidney failure. The longer it's left untreated, the more serious its complications can become.(American Heart Association)
 
Hypertension treatment is recommended to bring BP (blood pressure) to less than 140/90 mmHg or BP less than 130/80 mmHg in patients with diabetes or chronic kidney disease. The modification of the patient lifestyle is an important component of the treatment. The following recommendations are endorsed by physicians:
 
Lifestyle modifications to prevent and manage hypertension
Modification Recommendation Approximate SBP¹ Reduction
Weight reduction Maintain normal body weight (body mass index 18.524.9 kg/m2). 520 mmHg/10kg
Adopt DASH² eating plan Consume a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low fat dairy products with a reduced content of saturated and total fat. 814 mmHg
Dietary sodium reduction Reduce dietary sodium intake to no more than 100 mmol per day (2.4 g sodium or 6 g sodium chloride). 28 mmHg
Physical activity Engage in regular aerobic physical activity such as brisk walking (at least 30 min per day, most days of the week). 49 mmHg
Moderation of alcohol Limit consumption to no more than consumption 2 drinks³ per day in most men, and to no more than 1 drink per day in women and lighter weight persons. 24 mm
 
¹ SBP: systolic blood pressure.
² DASH: Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.
³ 1 drink = 1.5 cL or 1/2 oz ethanol (e.g., 35.5 cL or 12 oz beer, 15 cL or 5 oz wine, 4.5 cL or 1.5 oz 80-proof whisky).
 
(National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of US Department of Health and Human Services, 2004)