High blood pressure affects all Americans, on both a community and a personal level. African Americans are most likely to develop high blood pressure than any other racial or ethnic group at a very early age It is said 1 in 3 American adults have high blood pressure and 142 million American adults are overweight or obese which increases their chances of developing high blood pressure. High blood pressure precedes 74 percent of cases of heart failure in the United States.
Blood pressure is the force of blood against the walls of arteries. When the force stays too high, it becomes a life-threatening condition. This makes the heart works too hard, hardens the walls of arteries, can affect the proper functioning of other organs and increases the chances of having a heart attack, a stroke or kidney disease. Blood pressure is recorded in two numbers as millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Normal blood pressure is about 120 over 80 with the systolic (higher) number is always given first, followed by diastolic (lower) number is given last.