High Blood Pressure
Table of Contents
- What is high blood pressure?
- What causes high blood pressure?
- How is blood pressure measured?
- What do blood pressure readings mean (Blood Pressure Readings Chart)?
- What are the signs and symptoms of high blood pressure?
- How is high blood pressure diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for high blood pressure?
- What are the potential risks and complications of untreated high blood pressure?
- What dietary strategies can help lower high blood pressure?
- How does exercise help lower high blood pressure?
- Is complementary and alternative medicine effective for treating high blood pressure?
What is high blood pressure?
High blood pressure (hypertension) is defined as high pressure (tension) in the arteries, which are the vessels that carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body.
Blood pressure readings are given as two numbers. The systolic blood pressure (the top number) equals the pressure in the arteries as the heart contracts. The diastolic pressure (the bottom number) is the pressure in the arteries as the heart relaxes. Normal blood pressure is below 120/80; blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89 is called "pre-hypertension," and a blood pressure of 140/90 or above is considered high while a systolic blood pressure of about 90 to 100 is considered low blood pressure.
Hypertension is a major public health problem. The American Heart Association estimates high blood pressure affects approximately one in three adults in the United States, or about 76.4 million people. Continue Reading