Did you know that 6.8% of the world population has cardiovascular disease? It’s true. According to a multinational study published in 2019, over 523 million people globally were living with heart disease.
To remedy this and raise awareness about heart health, September 29th of every year is celebrated as World Heart Day. This year, take charge of your heart health by controlling your blood pressure.
High blood pressure is an important contributor to cardiovascular disease, as it can damage your blood vessels and restrict or cut off blood supply to your heart. Thus, managing your blood pressure is a major aspect of keeping your heart healthy.
Before we learn how to manage your blood pressure better, let’s understand what it is.
Understanding High Blood Pressure
When your blood flows through your arteries (blood vessels), it puts some force or pressure on their walls. This force is known as blood pressure.
When this force is high enough to cause damage to your blood vessels and organs, it is known as high blood pressure or hypertension. You are considered to have hypertension if your blood pressure is over 130/80 mmHg.
So how do you know if you have high blood pressure? Let’s find out.
Hypertension: Easy to Diagnose But Easy to Miss
The easiest way to figure out if you have high BP is to measure your blood pressure frequently. You can check your BP using devices like a sphygmomanometer or a digital BP monitor.
Your BP reading consists of two numbers and is measured in units of mmHg (millimetres of mercury). Understanding your blood pressure readings can help you manage your condition better, and also prevent associated complications like heart disease.
But what do these readings mean? We explain below.
Know Your Numbers
Your BP reading is measured in two parts- Systolic Blood Pressure and Diastolic Blood Pressure.
- The “Top” number or systole is your blood pressure when your heart is beating.
- The “Bottom” number or diastole is your blood pressure when your heart is resting between beats.
Based on these numbers, your blood pressure can be categorised into the following stages of hypertension.
Systolic Blood Pressure (in mmHg)
Diastolic Blood Pressure (in mmHg)
Elevated or Pre-hypertension
120 to 129
Hypertension Stage – 1
130 to 139
80 to 89
Hypertension Stage – 2
Symptoms of High BP: Not Always Obvious
In most people, high BP does not show any major symptoms until it has caused damage to the heart, kidneys, or other important organs. For this reason, hypertension is also known as the “silent killer”.
The following are some heart-related symptoms you may experience if you have high blood pressure:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Irregular heartbeat
- Tightness in the chest
- Palpitations or a pounding heart
- Fatigue or tiredness
You can read about some other symptoms of high BP here.
High BP and Your Heart
Uncontrolled high blood pressure puts a strain on your heart and makes it harder for it to pump blood, which can lead to an irregular heartbeat, weakened heart muscles, and heart failure.
Persistent high blood pressure can also damage the lining of your blood vessel walls. When cholesterol accumulates in these damaged areas of the artery walls, your blood vessels can become narrow and clogged. This reduces or completely cuts off blood supply to your heart muscles, which can lead to a heart attack or heart failure.
So, keeping your blood pressure in check is extremely important in order to keep your heart in shape. But is it a tedious task? Not really!
With Phable’s Digital Diary, you can record, track and analyse your blood pressure readings with ease.
Your Guide to Giving Your Heart the Care it Deserves
Now that you know the link between your blood pressure and heart health, you can take the following measures:
- Keep your blood sugar and cholesterol levels in check.
- Maintain a healthy weight (body mass index or BMI under 25 kg/m2).
- Limit your salt intake to less than 1 teaspoon or 5 g a day.
- Follow a low-sodium, heart-healthy DASH diet.
- Get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise daily.
- Quit smoking.
- Get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night.
- Learn to manage stress in a healthy way.
- Limit or avoid alcohol and caffeine consumption.
- If diagnosed with hypertension, take all prescribed medications and follow your treatment plan strictly.
Your heart works non-stop to keep you going. This World Heart Day, thank it by giving it the care it deserves. Also, reach out to your loved ones and let them know too.
Don’t Have Time To Read?
- High blood pressure or hypertension is a major contributor to heart disease.
- High BP usually does not show any symptoms and is diagnosed by measuring blood pressure levels regularly.
- Early detection and treatment of hypertension can help prevent or manage heart disease and associated complications.
- High BP, when left untreated, can make it harder for your heart to pump blood and cause conditions like congestive heart failure, weakened heart muscles, heart attack, etc.
- Keeping your BP in the normal range is easy. How? Keep your blood sugar and cholesterol levels in check, adopt the DASH diet, cut down on salt intake, exercise for 30 mins. a day, maintain a healthy weight, quit smoking, sleep well, manage stress, limi alcohol and take meds, if necessary.
- Use the Phable Care App to consult India’s leading cardiologists, order medicines, book lab tests, integrate BP monitors and other devices to get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Also, check out our Hypertension Management program which provides 360º care. Let’s treat high blood pressure problems together.
World Heart Day is an initiative organised by the World Heart Federation in collaboration with various public health organisations and world leaders. The aim of World Heart Day is to raise awareness globally regarding heart health and reduce the number of deaths caused by cardiovascular diseases. It is celebrated every year on the 29th of September.
When left untreated, high blood pressure can damage the blood vessels that supply blood to your heart muscles and cause them to work harder. When these blood vessels are damaged or clogged, it can restrict the blood flow to your heart, which can lead to heart conditions like arrhythmia, heart failure, enlarged heart muscles, heart attack, etc.
Cardiovascular diseases are a group of conditions that affect your heart and the blood vessels that are connected to it. These conditions include:
- Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat
- Hypertensive heart disease
- Cardiomyopathy or disease of the heart muscles
- Congenital heart defects