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What is Hypertension?

Updated: Dec 9, 2021

High blood pressure (hypertension) is a common condition in which the long-term force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease. Simply put, the force of blood against artery walls is too high.

What are the symptoms of Hypertension?

Known as the “silent killer”, high blood pressure often has no symptoms. Over time, if left untreated, it can cause health conditions, such as heart disease and stroke. Fortunately, high blood pressure can be easily detected. And once you know you have high blood pressure, you can work with your doctor to control it.

How is blood pressure measured?

Blood pressure is determined both by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure. A blood pressure reading is done on a device called a sphygmomanometer and is given in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).

It has two numbers:

1. Top number (systolic pressure). The first, or upper, number measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats.

2. Bottom number (diastolic pressure). The second, or lower, number measures the pressure in your arteries between beats.

Usually, hypertension is defined as blood pressure above 140/90, and is considered severe if the pressure is above 180/120.

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