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Blood pressure is a measurement that reflects the pressure within the arteries. When the heart pumps, the higher number, called the systolic pressure, is produced. When the heart relaxes, the lower number, called the diastolic pressure, is read. High blood pressure affects 1 out of 3 Americans. Many more have what is called “pre-hypertension” putting them at risk for developing high blood pressure. Millions of Americans have no idea they have high blood pressure since it usually does not cause symptoms. Having high blood pressure puts an individual at greater risk for many diseases including heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. Checking for high blood pressure and treating it can lower the risk of developing many of these diseases.
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