High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) FAQs
Reviewed by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP on January 4, 2016
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Q:High blood pressure means that blood has difficulty reaching the heart. True or false?
Q:What is the definition of blood pressure?
A: Blood pressure refers to the force of blood pushing against the artery walls.
Q:What happens in the body when blood pressure is high?
A:When blood pressure is high, the walls of the arteries are stretched beyond their limit, leading to damage and often scarring.
Q:What does a blood pressure reading determine?
A:Blood pressure measurements measure the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats and in between beats.
Q:Your blood pressure is 120/80: Which number indicates systolic pressure?
A:120. As explained previously, the systolic blood pressure is the top number in a blood pressure reading. Thus, if your blood pressure is measured as 120/80, your systolic pressure (the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats) is 120. Verbally, your doctor may say your blood pressure is "120 over 80." While both the systolic (top) and diastolic (bottom) numbers are important, the systolic measurement is usually given more attention because a high systolic reading can indicate a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, especially in people over age 50.
Q:Hypertension is commonly called the silent killer. True or false?
Q:High blood pressure can usually be cured. True or false?
Q:What is a normal blood pressure reading?
A:A normal blood pressure is defined as 120/80 mmHg or less.
Q:Hypertension is a common cause for erectile dysfunction (ED) in men. True or false?
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