Blood pressure is the force of blood flowing through the arteries pumped by the heart. When you suffer from hypertension, with readings consistently above 140/90, the high blood pressure causes additional strain to the heart and vessels. Over time, hypertension affects the organs and may cause a heart attack, stroke, eye complications or kidney problems. Initially, however, high blood pressure has no symptoms and may go undetected.
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DANGEROUS EXTRA WEIGHT Think you heard enough about the obesity epidemic? Did you know 2 out of 3 Hispanic women are either obese or overweight in the U.S.? More than 33% of Latinas are overweight and another 33.6% are obese according to CDC data. While these rates are lower than those for African-American women, they are considerably higher than figures for non-Hispanic white women in the U.S. Hispanic girls in high school are also more likely to be overweight or obese, as reported by the Office of Minority Health.
Despite its limitations, Body Mass Index (BMI) is the most widely used indicator of a healthy weight, and classifies a woman as overweight when it falls between 25 and 29, and obese if above 30. BMI has been criticized for being inaccurate, since it doesn’t take into account the different body fat in men and women, can’t tell fat from muscle weight, and pools together body types for all ethnic groups. Still, it’s considered a reliable indicator. To calculate your BMI, click here.
CONTRIBUTING RISK FACTORS Along with carrying some extra weight, other risk factors that increase the likelihood of high blood pressure may be the result of our hectic lifestyles. As listed by womenshealth.gov, these include: