Healthier LivingMedicare
Mar 4, 2024
3 Minute Read

High Blood Pressure: Numbers to Know

High blood pressure (hypertension) is called “The Silent Killer” because, oftentimes, there are no obvious symptoms. As a result, many are unaware they have high blood pressure until a serious medical event occurs.
Uncontrolled high blood pressure can damage vital organs. Damage due to persistent high blood pressure can lead to severe complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and vision loss.

Know your numbers

To know if you’re at risk, you need to learn how to understand your numbers. When reading blood pressure, there are two numbers to take into account. Blood pressure readings represent systolic (pressure during heartbeats) over diastolic (pressure between beats).
Normal blood pressure is typically below 120/80. If your number is even slightly higher, it’s time to consult with your doctor.

How often should I check my blood pressure?

If you have high blood pressure, it’s wise to have a monitoring device at home. Consistent monitoring means you can get prompt intervention when necessary. Check your numbers at least twice per week.
If you have chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or kidney problems, consult with your doctor about how often it is sensible to check your blood pressure.
If you recently started a new medication, be vigilant about checking your numbers.

Consider keeping a blood pressure journal

You can play an active role in your health by paying attention to changes in your numbers. If your blood pressure numbers are elevated, it’s a good idea to keep a journal to monitor changes so you can share this information with your doctor.

What can I do to keep my blood pressure low?

Embrace a heart-healthy lifestyle. This involves balanced nutrition, regular exercise, stress reduction, limited alcohol consumption, and avoiding tobacco.



Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City’s Blue Medicare Advantage includes both HMO and PPO plans with Medicare contracts. Enrollment in Blue Medicare Advantage depends on contract renewal.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The HMO products are offered by Blue-Advantage Plus of Kansas City, Inc. and the PPO products are offered by Missouri Valley Life and Health Insurance Company, both independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, and both wholly owned subsidiaries of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City.

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