High blood pressure is a serious issue among Canadians.
According to a Statistics Canada Health Report (2019), nearly one-quarter of Canadian men (24%) and women (23%) have high blood pressure. Also referred to as hypertension, the prevalence of high blood pressure among Canadian adults increases with age.
What is high blood pressure?
High blood pressure is when the blood pressure in your arteries rises and your heart has to work harder than normal to pump blood through the blood vessels. This becomes a problem when your blood pressure stays higher than normal over a period of time.
To determine whether you have high blood pressure, a health-care provider will check your blood pressure. This typically involves placing a ‘blood pressure cuff’ on your arm. It wraps around your arm and is inflated with air. As the air is released, pressure readings are taken.
Here are a few tips to help ensure a correct reading¹:
Do not drink caffeinated beverages or smoke at least 30 minutes before
During the reading, sit quietly in a chair with your feet on the floor, your back rested against the back of the chair, and your arm supported
Have your blood pressure checked regularly by a health-care provider
Keep your blood pressure in check
You can reduce your risk of high blood pressure through healthy lifestyle habits like being active, eating a well-balanced diet and living smoke-free. For more healthy lifestyle habits to improve your heart health, read Show your heart some love.
To learn more about blood pressure, how to improve your heart health and tips to measure your blood pressure, watch: Risk factors for heart disease: blood pressure.
Questions? We’re here to help. Check your benefits booklet for benefit plan terms and coverage details. If you need more information, that is not already covered in your benefits booklet, contact OTIP Benefits Services at 1‑866‑783‑6847. You can also visit www.otip.com to access our Help Centre.
 Adapted from “Tips to measure your blood pressure correctly”.