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Know and Control Your Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure 164/93: You Have to Know it to control it. Get Checked!

Heart Disease Kills More New Yorkers than Anything Else— High blood pressure puts you at risk.

High Blood Pressure Is Dangerous
  • Untreated high blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, problems with blood vessels and blood flow, kidney and eye problems, and early death.
  • Blacks are more likely than other groups to have high blood pressure.
  • To find out about your risk of heart disease, please visit Harvard Center for Cancer Prevention's interactive website [Español], which has a risk calculator on heart disease as well as other conditions.
Blood Pressure Levels- optimal bellow 120/80, pre-hypertensive 120-139 or (lower #) 80-89, hypertensive over 140 or (lower #) 90 or higher.
Know Your Numbers
  • Blood pressure is measured with two numbers. It is written with one number over the other, such as 120/80.
  • Both systolic (top) and diastolic (bottom) numbers are important.
  • Have your blood pressure checked regularly. If you need to find a doctor, see Health Bulletin #23: How to Find a Doctor (PDF).
  • People with pre-hypertension should take action to control their blood pressure
    through lifestyle changes.

Make Lifestyle Changes

Make Your Diet Heart-Healthy.

For more information on a heart-healthy diet, please visit the National Institutes of Health's
Your Guide to Lowering Your Blood Pressure with DASH (PDF)

Play sports Get Moving!
  • Get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity (such as a brisk walk) at least 5 days a week.
    For more tips, including examples of moderate-level physical activities, check out this guide. If you're an adult over the age of 60, a senior center near you may offer heart healthy activities for you to join. For more information, see the list of Health Promotion Activities at Senior Centers Sites.
Maintain a Healthy Weight.
  • If you are overweight, losing as little as 10 pounds can lower your
    blood pressure.

► See Health Bulletin #85: Want to Get Healthier? Make NYC Your GYM
Other languages:[Español] [中文]

If you Smoke, Quit Now.

  • If you have high blood pressure and smoke, you more than double your risk of a heart attack. For more information on smoking, including tips and resources for quitting, visit NYC Quits.

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Take Prescribed Blood Pressure Medications

► Learn more about Keeping your Heart Healthy.

Monitor Your Blood Pressure Outside the Clinic
  • If you have hypertension (high blood pressure) and can’t get it under control with lifestyle changes and medications, monitoring your blood pressure at home may help.
  • Automated blood pressure monitors can be purchased at pharmacies. Sometimes health insurance covers the cost.
  • Talk to your doctor to see if this is the right option for you.
  • The NYC Health Department has teamed up with local pharmacies to offer free blood pressure checks in certain areas of East and Central Harlem, North Central Brooklyn and the South Bronx. See a list of participating pharmacies (PDF). If you don't live or work in these neighborhoods, many pharmacies around the city also have blood pressure machines where you can get your blood pressure checked for free, so check out your local pharmacy.
  • Use a Blood Pressure Tracking Card (PDF) Other languages:[Español]. to record your blood pressure readings and share them with your doctor.
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Last Updated February 26, 2013