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Heart Attack in Women (cont.)

What does high blood pressure have to do with heart disease?

Blood pressure is the force your blood makes against the walls of your arteries. The pressure is highest when your heart pumps blood into your arteries – when it beats. It is lowest between heart beats, when your heart relaxes. A doctor or nurse will write down your blood pressure as the higher number over the lower number. For instance, you could have a blood pressure of 110/70 (read as "110 over 70"). A blood pressure reading below 120/80 is usually considered normal. Very low blood pressure (lower than 90/60) can sometimes be a cause of concern and should be checked out by a doctor.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a blood pressure reading of 140/90 or higher. Years of high blood pressure can damage artery walls, causing them to become stiff and narrow. This includes the arteries carrying blood to the heart. As a result, your heart cannot get the blood it needs to work well. This can cause a heart attack.

A blood pressure reading of 120/80 to 139/89 is considered prehypertension. This means that you don't have high blood pressure now but are likely to develop it in the future.

How can I lower my blood pressure?

If you have hypertension or prehypertension, you may be able to lower your

blood pressure by:

  • losing weight if you are overweight orobese
  • getting at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate physical activity or 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous activity each week.
  • limiting alcohol to one drink per day
  • quitting smoking if you smoke
  • reducing stress
  • following the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Eating Plan, which includes cutting down on salt and sodium and eating healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products

If lifestyle changes do not lower your blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe medicine.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/4/2014

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Heart Attacks in Women - Prevention Question: As a woman, how do you prevent heart disease or a heart attack?
Heart Attacks in Women - Blood Pressure Question: If you've been diagnosed with hypertension, how have you lowered your blood pressure?
Heart Attacks in Women - Cholesterol and Triglycerides Question: How often do you get your levels for cholesterol and triglycerides checked? Please share your experience.
Heart Attacks in Women - Signs and Symptoms Question: If you've had a heart attack, what were your signs and symptoms?
Heart Attacks in Women - Heredity Question: Does heart disease run in your family? In what ways are you trying to minimize the risk?
Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/heart_attack_in_women/article.htm

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