Why It's Important to Know Your Blood Pressure?
Heart disease kills more New Yorkers than anything else, and high blood pressure puts you at risk. One in four New Yorkers has high blood pressure. Many other New Yorkers have high blood pressure, but don’t know it because there are usually no symptoms. Groups more likely to have high blood pressure include people aged 65 and older, Blacks and Latinos.
In addition to heart disease, high blood pressure increases the risk of stroke, problems with blood vessels and blood flow, and kidney and eye problems. Checking your blood pressure regularly helps you know if there is a problem.
When to Check Your Blood Pressure?
Everyone should know their blood pressure. The only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to get checked at your doctor’s office or neighborhood pharmacy. You may need to get your blood pressure checked often if you are at a greater risk of having high blood pressure due to family history, previous tests showing at risk numbers, or if a health care provider has previously said you have high blood pressure.
How to Help Prevent/Control High Blood Pressure
Lifestyle plays an important role in treating your high blood pressure. If you successfully control your blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle, you may be able to avoid, delay, or reduce the need for medication. You can lower your chance of having high blood pressure by maintaining a healthy weight, eating foods low in salt (sodium) and exercising on a regular basis. For more information on a heart-healthy diet, read the Health Department’s Healthy Eating Tips.
If You Take Medicine
Some people stop taking their high blood pressure medications or even skip doses because they don’t feel sick, they are worried about side effects, they are worried about the cost of medicine, and/or their blood pressure has started to improve.
Don’t skip doses or stop taking your medication. Talk to your health care provider and/or pharmacist if you have questions or concerns.
Click here for a resource to help you manage your medications.
As part of an ongoing effort to reduce rates of high blood pressure among New Yorkers, the Health Department is collaborating with New York City pharmacies–both chain and independent–to promote healthy access to free self-serving blood pressure kiosks. Read more.