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Get Healthy!

Answers to Your Questions

Like any community, Harlem has its own unique set of health concerns. Here, the doctors of the St. Lukes Medical Group primary care practice, located at 147th Street and Fredrick Douglass Boulevard, provide important information on how you can improve your health and the health of those you love.

What About High Blood Pressure?

Ask Dr. Emilio Perez
What is high blood pressure exactly?
Healthy arteries, which carry blood through the body, stretch when the heart pumps blood through them. If the force of the blood flow is high, the walls of arteries get overstretched and, over time, causes heart disease, damage to the kidneys and eyes, and an increased risk for stroke. Hypertension or high blood pressure is a silent killer because it is deadly and often without early warning signs. Experts say that as many as 60 million Americans have high blood pressure. 120 and 139 and/or the diastolic blood pressure is betweeni 80 and 89. > Stage 1 hypertension if the systolic blood pressure is between 140 and 159 and/or the diastolic blood pressure is between 90 and 99. > Stage 2 hypertension if the systolic blood pressure is greater than 160 and/or the diastolic blood pressure is greater than 100.

What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?

In general, high blood pressure does not directly cause symptoms. When blood pressure is very high, it causes symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, fatigue and ringing in the ears.

How is blood pressure measured?

Blood pressure is measured with a blood pressure cuff and is measured in two numbers: 1. Systolic pressure (the higher number) measures the pressure of the blood against the arterys walls when the heart pumps blood to the rest of the body. 2. Diastolic pressure (the lower number) measures the pressure in the blood vessels between heartbeats. Blood pressure is said with the systolic measure first, such as 120/80 (120 over 80).

How can I prevent high blood pressure?

Healthy lifestyle choices can make a difference in preventing or controlling high blood pressure. Good steps to take include: > Get regular exercise and maintain a desirable body weight. > Limit the amount of salt in your food. > Drink in moderation or not at all. > Eat a diet low in unhealthy fats. > Dont smoke.

What should my blood pressure numbers be?

You have normal blood pressure if your systolic pressure is less than 120 and the diastolic pressure is less than 80 (or 120/80). Your stage of high blood pressure depends on the range your blood pressure numbers fall into. For instance, you have: > Pre-hypertension if the systolic blood pressure is between

If I already have high blood pressure, how do I treat it?

The main focus of treatment will be lifestyle changes, but there are several medications your physician might choose for you. You will also be closely monitored through regular medical check-ups.

Emilio Perez, MD, is a doctor at St. Lukes Medical Group, located at 147th Street and 2771 Fredrick Douglass Boulevard. To learn more about the groups services, visit or call 212.690.0303 to make an appointment.