What is High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)?
- Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against blood vessel walls. It is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). High blood pressure (HBP) means the pressure in your arteries is higher than it should be. Another name for high blood pressure is hypertension.
- Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80
- High blood pressure is a pressure of 130 systolic or higher, or 80 diastolic or higher, that stays high over time. High blood pressure usually has no signs or symptoms. That’s why it is so dangerous. But it can be managed.
- Over time, the force and friction of high blood pressure damages the delicate tissues inside the blood vessels in the body. In turn, LDL (bad) cholesterol forms plaque along tiny tears in the artery walls, signifying the start of atherosclerosis.
- The more the plaque and damage increases, the smaller the insides of the arteries become — raising blood pressure and starting a vicious circle that further harms your arteries, heart and the rest of your body.
What happens if you don’t treat your blood pressure?
- Your risk for heart attack, stroke, and damage to vital organs like your eyes and kidneys is much higher.
- If you can lower your blood pressure may decrease your risk for heart attack and stroke by about 50%