March 10, 2009
Health Team 12 and our Heart Matters partners at University Hospital - cardiologists at the hospital are helping you understand how high blood pressure affects your heart.
High blood pressure is simply the force your blood exerts against your vessel walls. It can cause damage to organs, and put patients at risk for stroke, heart attacks, kidney and heart failure, and contribute to disabilities.
Dr. Janet Utz, a cardiologist at University Hospital tells us, "The most important thing about blood pressure is not that you have high blood pressure, but it's treating it appropriately and getting it to goals. We call it the “silent killer” because most of us don't realize when we have high blood pressure. Having a headache doesn't mean that you have high blood pressure or not having one doesn't mean that you don't."
Doctors recommend that your blood pressure be less than 140 over 90, and 130 over 85 for diabetic patients. Exercise, a healthy diet and other lifestyle choices are important too.