Health briefs offer quick but comprehensive information about some of the biggest health challenges Tennessee is facing.
Scroll down to read all about hypertension in our state or jump to a specific section:
What is hypertension?
High blood pressure can damage the arteries that restrict blood flow, leading to heart disease or other problems.
What do blood pressure numbers mean?
- Systolic pressure (the top number) measures the amount of pressure in your arteries when your heart beats.
- Diastolic pressure (the bottom number) measures the pressure of blood flow between beats, when the heart is at rest.
Both numbers are measured to determine blood pressure.
- 119/79 or lower is considered normal blood pressure
- 140/90 or higher is considered high blood pressure
A person is considered to be at-risk for hypertension if:
- Their systolic pressure is 120–139, or
- Their diastolic pressure is 80–89.
How common is high blood pressure?
In the U.S.
- 38.5% of adults in Tennessee have high blood pressure.
- More than 50% of adults 65+ in Tennessee have high blood pressure.
- By 2030, Tennessee is projected to have 1,714,690 cases of hypertension.
What are the risk factors for high blood pressure?
- Family history of hypertension
- Being African-American
- High sodium diet
- Physical inactivity
- Excessive drinking of alcohol
- 24% of adults smoke
- 37% don’t exercise
- 68% are overweight or obese
- 13% have diabetes
- 3% drink heavily (2+ alcoholic drinks/day) and nearly 10% binge drink (5+ drinks on one occasion)
How can you prevent and/or manage high blood pressure?
- Know your risk (check it here)
- Eat a healthy diet
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Engage in regular physical activity
- Stop smoking
- Limit alcohol beverages
How is BlueCross addressing hypertension?
- Awarded Healthier Tennessee a $3 million grant to encourage healthier diets, more physical activity and smoking cessation across the state.
- Granted $70,000 to Northside Neighborhood House to hold weekly cooking classes focused on creating nutritious meals on a budget.
- Gave $317,000 to fund the Journey to Health program at Nashville’s Faith Family Medical Center.
- Invested more than $1.7 million to transform outside spaces into areas where people can get fit, including Fitness Zones, RiverFit and more.
- Awarded $1.6 million to expand the Greater Kingsport Family Y.