Changes to blood pressure readings you should know to monitor yo - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Changes to blood pressure readings you should know to monitor your heart

Eau Claire (WQOW) - -

Valentine's Day week may be the time to think about heart shaped candy, but you may want to think about your actual ticker more often. February is National Heart Disease Awareness Month and the American Heart Association wants to make sure you know the new blood pressure guidelines.

You may recall high blood pressure numbers being defined as 140/90, but now people will be diagnosed with high blood pressure if their numbers are 130/80.

The new guideline was initiated in order to help people take steps towards controlling their blood pressure earlier.

According to the CDC, in Wisconsin many adults don't even know they have high blood pressure.

"We know that about 1.3 million adults in Wisconsin have high blood pressure, and about two out of five of them don't even know that they have that. High blood pressure has been known to be a silent killer just because there aren't often symptoms," Public Health Nutritionist for the Eau Claire City-County Health Department, Susan Krahn told News 18.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Eau Claire County according to Krahn.

Heart disease is also impacting a growing number of people under the age of 65 which can often lead to health problems like heart attacks and strokes.

The good news - heart disease is preventable. Krahn said by having a healthy weight and eating a heart healthy diet, you can decrease your chances of high blood pressure.

"You should try to eat at least five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Try to incorporate foods with potassium like bananas, potatoes, avocados and dark leafy vegetables. Cutting back on sodium and alcohol can also help," Krahn said.

Krahn said you should know the four following numbers in order to monitor your heart: 

  • Total cholesterol 
  • Body mass index
  • Blood sugars
  • Blood pressure. 
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