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Pressure Is On!

In last month’s “Weird Science” survey, we learned the strange-but-true fact that blood pressure can cause blood to squirt up to 30 feet away. Pretty incredible! 

Here’s another scary fact. High blood pressure is called “the silent killer” because many people are affected for years without knowing anything is wrong, while on the inside it’s damaging their heart, arteries and other organs. 

Know your numbers

The American Heart Association recommends a blood pressure screening every two years starting at age 20. 

SYSTOLIC – Top (higher) number measures pressure in the arteries when the heart muscle beats or contracts.

DIASTOLIC – Bottom (lower) number measures pressure between beats, when the heart is resting and refilling with blood.

While they fluctuate over time and with activity, normal numbers for an adult over 20 are typically less than 120/80 mm Hg. If your numbers stay at 140/90 mm Hg over time, your doctor will likely talk to you about prescription medication and making healthy lifestyle changes.

Here are some lifestyle tips to take care of your blood pressure now: 

  • Eat a healthy diet. 
  • Watch your sodium intake.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Drink less.
  • Manage stress.

Is red wine good for your heart?

Red wine does have heart-healthy antioxidants, but its good effects are quickly outweighed by bad ones if you consume more than a glass a day. 

According to the American Heart Association, men should limit all alcohol consumption, including wine, to no more than two drinks per day, and women to no more than one drink per day. Over time, alcohol consumption raises blood pressure and can lead to serious issues like heart failure and stroke.