May is Hypertension Awareness Month in Canada, a month where health professionals across the country raise awareness of the risks of high blood pressure and encourage Canadians to have their blood pressure checked. In Canada, an estimated 7.4 million people live with this condition that can increase their risk of strokes, heart attacks and other serious diseases. People are considered to have high blood pressure if they have a ‘systolic’ score of 140 mm Hg or higher, or a ‘diastolic’ score of 90 mm Hg or more. Experts believe treatment decisions should be based on an individuals’ risk level, rather on blood pressure scores alone. There are several factors that increase one’s risk of heart disease including age, sex, diet, exercise, smoking habits and the presence of other diseases such as diabetes.
Your doctor will determine whether medication is right for you, but there are strategies you can take to maintain your heart health, including regular exercise, a healthy diet, reducing your salt intake and managing your stress levels.
We have compiled the latest evidence-informed content to help you improve your heart health: