High blood pressure is a chronic disease which is constantly on the increase throughout the world. It is now the leading cause of illness and death according to the World Health Organization. This illness can lead to heart attacks and strokes, but can be well controlled if detected early and managed appropriately.

6 million

adult Australians have high blood pressure.

1 in 4 men

have uncontrolled high blood pressure.

1 in 5 women

have uncontrolled high blood pressure.

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing on the walls of the blood vessels. Your blood pressure will go up and down naturally throughout the day depending on what you are doing, especially if you are doing exercise. When this force, or pressure, is too high, the heart has to pump harder and the blood vessels are put under greater strain as they carry blood. High blood pressure is when your blood pressure is permanently higher than normal and is one of the main risk factors of developing heart attacks and strokes. 

 

As a guide, when your doctor mentions your blood pressure numbers: the top number is the pressure in the blood vessels when the heart pumps and the bottom number is the pressure when the heart relaxes. High blood pressure is diagnosed when your blood pressure is permanently above 140 for the top number and above 90 for the bottom number (i.e. ≥ 140/90).

 

No warning signs

We do not feel our blood as it flows around our bodies. Therefore you may not even feel any symptoms from high blood pressure – at least not in the beginning – so it’s important to get your blood pressure checked regularly. It is quick, painless and the result is given immediately. High blood pressure is one of the main risk factors for developing heart attacks and strokes.

Effects on the body

High blood pressure can lead to a greater chance of having a heart attack or stroke. Other parts of the body, including the kidneys and eyes may also suffer damage resulting in kidney failure and loss of vision.

Some people are at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure. Factors that can increase the chances of developing high blood pressure include: family history (this doubles the risk of high blood pressure and can affect younger people), diet (high in salt), lack of physical activity, smoking, being overweight and alcohol consumption. Blood pressure can even be affected by stress.

At Servier

We have been focused on cardiology for over 50 years, and most particularly in hypertension, with our products prescribed to 15 million patients worldwide. Since not all people need the same types of treatments, we offer solutions to tailor and adapt treatment to the individual and to the various stages of their treatment.

Remember

1. See your doctor regularly. If high blood pressure isn’t detected it can’t be treated.

2. Improve your lifestyle habits (e.g. regular exercise, healthy diet, maintain a health weight).

3. If your doctor has prescribed medication for you, keep taking it as prescribed by your doctor.

4. Trust your loved ones. They are best placed to spot the warning signs of hypertension and encourage you to stick to your treatment.

Monitor your blood pressure at home

If your doctor has recommended for you to check your own blood pressure at home, we have a diary to make it easy to record the numbers. Having it written down makes it easy for you and your doctor to keep track. And you can take it with you each time you visit your doctor.

Click on the image below to download the blood pressure monitoring diary

References: www.heartfoundation.org.au/heart-health-education/blood-pressure-and-your-heart (accessed 04 Nov 2020); www.aihw.gov.au/reports/risk-factors/high-blood-pressure/contents/high-blood-pressure (accessed 6 Oct 2020)