What is high blood pressure. Definition
of hypertension. What is systolic and diastolic blood pressure
what is high blood pressure
Blood is carried from the heart to all parts of your body in vessels called
arteries. What is Hypertension . Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls
of the arteries. Each time the heart beats (about 60-70 times a minute at rest), it pumps out blood
into the arteries. Your blood pressure is at its highest when the heart contracts. This is called
systolic pressure. When the heart is at rest or relaxes, between beats, your blood pressure falls.
This is the diastolic pressure. It's measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). High blood
pressure (or hypertension) is defined in an adult as a blood pressure greater than or equal to 140
mm Hg systolic pressure or greater than or equal to 90 mm Hg diastolic pressure.
Blood pressure is always given as these two numbers, the systolic and diastolic
pressures. Both are important. Usually they are written one above or before the other, such as
120/80 mmHg. The top number is the systolic and the bottom the diastolic. When the two measurements
are written down, the systolic pressure is the first or top number, and the diastolic pressure is
the second or bottom number (for example, 120/80). If your blood pressure is 120/80, you say that
it is "120 over 80."
High blood pressure can occur in children or adults, but it's more common among
people over age 35. It's particularly prevalent in African Americans, middle-aged and elderly
people, obese people, heavy drinkers and women who are taking birth control pills. People with
diabetes mellitus, gout or kidney disease are more likely to have high blood pressure, too.
American Heart Association recommended blood pressure levels
less than 120
less than 80
160 or higher
100 or higher
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