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 mm Hg or BP less than 130/80 mm Hg 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
Approximate SBP¹ Reduction
Maintain normal body weight (body mass index 18.5-24.9 kg/m2).
5-20 mm Hg/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.
8-14 mm Hg
Dietary sodium reduction
Reduce dietary sodium intake to no more than 100 mmol per day (2.4 g sodium or 6 g sodium chloride).
2-8 mm Hg
Engage in regular aerobic physical activity such as brisk walking (at least 30 min per day, most days of the week).
4-9 mm Hg
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.
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).
Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of US Department of Health and Human Services, 2004