Nearly 50% of Americans aged 20 years and above suffer from hypertension or high blood pressure, a new study has said. This warrants active efforts from individuals to keep their blood pressure in check.

You might feel that your numbers are within the healthy range. But the new study--2023 report from the American Heart Association-- published in January, found that most people have a false sense of confidence in their blood pressure figures. About 64% of the people surveyed expressed confidence in their blood pressure numbers, but only 39% correctly knew what normal or healthy blood pressure was, the study found.

"Our research has found that most Americans don't know the normal or healthy range for blood pressure – yet strikingly, they think they do. And that is cause for serious concern," Wändi Bruine de Bruin, Professor of Public Policy, Psychology, and Behavioral Science, USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, and Mark Huffman, Professor of Medicine, Washington University in St Louis, said, ScienceAlert reported.

Here are a few tips to keep blood pressure in check.

Talk to a doctor

Inquire about your blood pressure every time you visit a doctor, and find out what the numbers actually mean. If a person’s blood pressure is high, one should discuss strategies to keep it in control.

Heart-healthy diet

This one is a no-brainer. Foods good for the heart such as vegetables, fruit, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, skinless poultry and fish, nuts and legumes, and olive oil should be consumed. The portion of unhealthy foods like red meat, saturated and trans fats, and ultra-processed foods, in a meal, should be kept to a minimum.

Lower salt intake

According to the Dietary Guidelines recommended for Americans, one should not have more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. However, as per the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, an average American takes in about 3,400 milligrams daily - almost 50% more than the daily limit.

Say no to alcohol

It is not new knowledge that alcohol of all types--beer, wine, or spirits--increases blood pressure. Nevertheless, if one does decide to drink alcohol, he should keep in mind the limits recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The guidelines recommend one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.

Physical activity

According to a study, two and a half hours per week of physical activity can help lower blood pressure. It can include a range of activities, including swimming, lifting weights, doing yoga, or simply walking.

Strive for a healthy weight

Shedding even a few pounds can help manage high blood pressure in people who are overweight. So, seek healthy weight loss guidance from your doctor.

Quit smoking

This goes for both cigarettes and vapes. Another study found it took just 12 weeks of quitting smoking to lower blood pressure compared to people still smoking.


Medical intervention is needed in most cases of hypertension. A majority of patients need two to three medications to bring down blood pressure to normal levels. Generally, people with stage 2 hypertension, and some with stage 1 hypertension are recommended medication.