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High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is sometimes called the "silent killer" because it usually has no noticeable warning signs or symptoms until other serious problems arise.

Did you know that high blood pressure is the 2nd leading cause of kidney falure in the U.S.? March is National Kidney Month. Read about healthy lifestyles habits that can help with Chronic Kideny Disease.

In 2017, better than 41% of Alabamians reported having high blood pressure. Blood pressure is the force of blood against your artery walls as it circulates through your body. Blood pressure normally rises and falls throughout the day, but can cause health problems if it stays high for a long time. Having high blood pressure raises your risk for heart disease and stroke, the first and third leading causes of death in Alabama. Primary hypertension is the number 12 cause of death according to 2013 data, with a rate of 12.1 per 100,000 (587 deaths) and the comparable rate for the nation is 9.7 per 100,000.

Know your numbers: blood pressure is measured using two numbers. The first (systolic) number represents the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart beats. The second (diastolic) number represents the pressure in your vessels when your heart rest between beats. If the measurement reads 120 systolic and 80 diastolic, you would say "120 over 80" or write "120/80 mmHg."

Blood Pressure Categories

Systolic: mm Hg (upper #) | Diastolic: mm Hg (lower #)

  • Normal
    Systolic: less than 120
    Diastolic: less than 80
  • Elevated
    Systolic: 120-129
    Diastolic: less than 80
  • High Blood Pressure (Hypertension Stage 1)
    Systolic: 130 - 139
    Diastolic: 80 - 89
  • High Blood Pressure (Hypertension Stage 2)
    Systolic: 140 or higher
    Diastolic: 90
  • Hypertensive Crisis (Emergency C are Needed)
    Systolic: higher than 180
    Diastolic: higher than 120

Note: Your doctor should evaluate unusually low blood pressure readings.

Self-Monitoring Blood Pressure:

CVH program has several Self-Monitoring Blood Pressure sites around the state. Here is a map with locations.


Page last updated: May 13, 2021