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UNDERSTANDING BLOOD PRESSURE

High blood pressure is silent.
And often, the first sign of heart problems.
That’s why we’re talking about it.

What is high blood pressure?

  • In simplest terms, a blood pressure reading measures the force of blood pushing against your artery walls.
  • Blood pressure is measured in terms of the systolic pressure over diastolic pressure and is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg).
  • Imagine that you are at the doctor’s office and you are told that your blood pressure is 115 over 77 or 115/77 mmHg.
    • The top number (115) measures the amount of pressure against your arteries during the contraction of the heart muscle. This is called systolic pressure.
    • The bottom number (77), measures the amount of pressure against your arteries when your heart rests between beats. This is called diastolic pressure.
  • A reading under 120/80 is considered normal. Any number above that is elevated or high.
  • While not as common, low blood pressure can also cause health problems and should be monitored by your healthcare provider. Any number below 90/60 is considered low.

How does high blood pressure impact heart health?

  • Over time, the friction caused high blood pressure damages your arteries, making it easier for plaque to form in your arteries.
  • As plaque forms, arteries begin to narrow.
  • Without intervention, this can lead to issues ranging from vision loss and heart failure to heart attacks and strokes.

How do I check my blood pressure?

Make an appointment to visit your physician. While home blood pressure kits can be helpful, there is no way to guarantee their accuracy.

What can I do to manage or prevent high blood pressure?

  • Reduce the sodium in your diet—put down the salt shaker
  • Get at least 30 minutes of exercise, three days a week
  • Quit smoking
  • Watch your waistline; lose any extra pounds
  • Eat healthy foods—choose vegetables, fruit, and low-fat foods
  • Reduce alcohol consumption
  • Learn stress management techniques like deep breathing, yoga, or mediation
  • Get at least six hours of sleep per night

Why are Cigna and the Dubai Health Authority teaming up to raise awareness?

  • Recent research shows that 30% of adults in the UAE have high blood pressure
  • It’s a silent disease
  • Most people don’t know they have it
  • We’re committed to helping everyone in the UAE lead longer, healthier lives

If you are unsure how your blood pressure may be affecting
your health, make an appointment with your physician
to learn more about the actions you can take to improve your
overall health and blood pressure.

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