Listen to Your Heart

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can be a silent, symptomless killer. One in three American adults is living with hypertension and 20 percent are completely unaware. This information is courtesy of the American Heart Association, an independent company that offers health education information on behalf of your health plan.

Ask your heart how it’s doing — you might be surprised by what it has to say. Get started by checking your blood pressure — it’s quick and easy.

  • Measure it on your own with a blood pressure monitor or have a health care professional do it for you.
  • Record your systolic and diastolic numbers.
  • Talk to your doctor about your results to understand what they mean.

This chart outlines blood pressure and what the numbers mean. If your blood pressure is higher than normal, talk to your doctor about types of treatment and lifestyle modifications that are right for you.


Blood Pressure

mm Hg (upper #)


mm Hg (lower #)


less than 120


less than 80


120 – 139


80 – 89

High Blood Pressure
(Hypertension) Stage 1

140 – 159


90 – 99

High Blood Pressure
(Hypertension) Stage 2

160 or higher


100 or higher

Hypertensive Crisis
(Emergency care needed)

Higher than 180


Higher than 110

There are many ways you can control your blood pressure. To prevent and manage high blood pressure, it is critical to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Think of these changes as a "lifestyle prescription" and make every effort to comply with them.

The first step toward a heart-healthy lifestyle is to understand your status. Stop and listen. What’s your heart telling you?