If you have high blood pressure, you and your health care provider need to work together as
a team to reduce it. The two of you need to agree on your blood pressure goal. Together, you
should come up with a plan and timetable for reaching your goal.
Blood pressure is usually measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and is recorded as
two numbers—systolic pressure (as the heart beats) “over” diastolic pressure (as the heart
relaxes between beats)—for example, 130/80 mmHg. Ask your doctor to write down for
you your blood pressure numbers and your blood pressure goal level.
Monitoring your blood pressure at home between visits to your doctor can be helpful.
You also may want to bring a family member with you when you visit your doctor.
Having a family member who knows that you have high blood pressure and who understands
what you need to do to lower your blood pressure often makes it easier to make
the changes that will help you reach your goal.
The steps listed in this brochure will help lower your blood pressure. If you have normal
blood pressure or prehypertension, following these steps will help prevent you from
developing high blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, following these steps
will help you control your blood pressure.