High Blood Pressure

Hypertension is often referred to as the ‘silent killer’ because it does not show any visible signs until it reaches dangerously high levels. If left untreated, this condition can lead to considerable organ damage but can be prevented with the right treatment.

What is High blood pressure?

Hypertension is often referred to as the ‘silent killer’ because it does not show any visible signs until it reaches dangerously high levels. If left untreated, this condition can lead to considerable organ damage but can be prevented with the right treatment. Hypertension is a serious medical condition in which the pressure applied by flowing blood on the walls of arteries is too strong. Your blood pressure measurement consists of two numbers: systolic and diastolic.

Systolic measurement

Systolic measurement is the pressure of blood against your artery walls when the heart has just finished pumping (contracting). The top number, or systolic measurement, of a blood pressure reading.

Diastolic measurement

Diastolic measurement is the pressure of blood against your artery walls between heartbeats when the heart is relaxed and filling with blood. The second value in a blood pressure reading

Level

Systolic

Diastolic

High blood pressure is:

140 or above

90 or above

Prehypertension is:

120 to 139

80 to 89

Normal adult (age 18 or older) blood pressure is:

119 or below

79 or below

According to new, more stringent high blood pressure guidelines from the Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee (JNC 7) on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure, millions of people with previously considered borderline high (130 to 139/85 to 89 mm Hg) or normal (120/80) blood pressure now fall into the “prehypertension” range.

Because new studies show the risk of heart disease and stroke begins to increase at lower blood pressures than previously believed, health experts lowered the acceptable normal range to promote more aggressive and earlier treatment of high blood pressure.

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