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What Is Hypertension Blood Pressure

Stroke And Brain Problems

Blood pressure: what is blood pressure?

High blood pressure can cause the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the brain to burst or be blocked, causing a stroke. Brain cells die during a stroke because they do not get enough oxygen. Stroke can cause serious disabilities in speech, movement, and other basic activities. A stroke can also kill you.

Having high blood pressure, especially in midlife, is linked to having poorer cognitive function and dementia later in life. Learn more about the link between high blood pressure and dementia from the National Institutes of Healths Mind Your Risks®external icon campaign.

What Causes Pulmonary Hypertension

Some common underlying causes of pulmonary hypertension include high blood pressure in the lungs arteries due to some types of congenital heart disease, connective tissue disease, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, liver disease , blood clots to the lungs, and chronic lung diseases like emphysema. Genetics also play a role.

Pulmonary hypertension can happen in association with many other diseases, such as lung disease and heart disease. Heart failure is common in pulmonary hypertension.

Can High Blood Pressure Affect Pregnancy

High blood pressure complicates about 10% of all pregnancies. There are several different types of high blood pressure during pregnancy and range from mild to serious. The forms of high blood pressure during pregnancy include:

Chronic hypertension: High blood pressure which is present prior to pregnancy.

Chronic hypertension with superimposed preeclampsia: Preeclampsia, which develops in someone who has chronic hypertension .

Gestational hypertension: High blood pressure in the latter part of pregnancy, but no other signs or symptoms of preeclampsia are present. Some women will later develop preeclampsia, while others probably have high blood pressure before the pregnancy.

Preeclampsia: This is found in the latter half of pregnancy and results in hypertension, protein in the urine and generalized swelling in the mother. It can affect other organs in the body and cause seizures .

Your blood pressure will be checked regularly during prenatal appointments, but if you have concerns about your blood pressure, be sure to talk with your provider.

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Know When To Call For Help For Complications

Readings above 180/120 mm Hg are dangerously high and require immediate medical attention. Blood pressure this high can damage your organs. if you experience:

  • A sudden, severe headache
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sudden, severe pain in your abdomen, chest, or back

High blood pressure can also lead to heart attack or stroke. if you suspect this is happening to you or someone else.

Heart attack

The signs and symptoms of a heart attack include:

  • Nausea, vomiting, light-headedness or fainting, or breaking out in a cold sweat. These symptoms of a heart attack are more common in women.
  • Prolonged or severe chest pain or discomfort not relieved by rest or nitroglycerin. This involves uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in the center or left side of the chest that can be mild or strong. This pain or discomfort often lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back.
  • Shortness of breath. This may accompany chest discomfort or happen before it.
  • Upper body discomfort. This can be felt in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or upper part of the stomach.


If you think someone may be having a stroke, act F.A.S.T. and perform the following simple test.

Why Is Your Blood Pressure Important

Reading the new blood pressure guidelines

Your blood pressure is important because if it is too high, it affects the blood flow to your organs. Over the years, this increases your chances of developing heart disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease, eye disease, erectile dysfunction and other conditions.

Very occasionally, people with very high blood pressure are at serious risk of problems and need urgent treatment in hospital to reduce the risk of a stroke or heart attack.

Current Australian guidelines recommend that if you have persistent raised blood pressure over 160/100 mmHg, but are at low risk of having a stroke or heart attack, you should talk to your doctor or specialist about taking medication to lower your blood pressure.

For further information, visit the Choosing Wisely Australia website.

If youre over 18, you should have your blood pressure checked by your doctor at least every 2 years, or more often if advised.

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How Common Is Hypertension In Children

Hypertension is becoming increasingly common in children and adolescents. A recent study that looked at 15,000 adolescents found that nearly one in five had hypertension. And theres reason to believe that hypertension is vastly underdiagnosed in children, since:

  • it can be difficult to measure in infants and young children
  • its sometimes challenging to identify
  • its often thought of as not something that really affects kids

The rise in the number of children with primary hypertension in the United States is thought to correlate with the rise of obesity.

High Blood Pressure Stage 2 Symptoms

High blood pressure is when the force of blood pushing against the blood vessel walls, is consistently high. Nearly half of American adults have high blood pressure, and many of them dont even know they have it. Thats why high blood pressure is often called the silent killer 3.

What are high blood pressure stage 2 symptoms? Typically, high blood pressure stage 2 has no symptoms until it has caused serious health issues. The best way to know if you have high blood pressure stage 2 is to have your blood pressure checked by a physician.

If you havent had your BP checked at a doctor because you dont have a health plan, you may want to check out a health plan service I recommend. They can locate an affordable plan right for you at an affordable price. Check out their website by clicking eHealth Insurance.

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Eat Some Dark Chocolate

Yes, chocolate lovers: Dark chocolate has been shown to lower blood pressure.

But the dark chocolate should be 60 to 70 percent cacao. A review of studies on dark chocolate has found that eating one to two squares of dark chocolate per day may help lower the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and inflammation. The benefits are thought to come from the flavonoids present in chocolate with more cocoa solids. The flavonoids help dilate, or widen, your blood vessels .

A 2010 study of 14,310 people found that individuals without hypertension who ate more dark chocolate had lower blood pressure overall than those who ate less dark chocolate (

28 ).

For some people, getting a good nights sleep isnt easy. There are many ways to help you get restful sleep. Try setting a regular sleep schedule, spend time relaxing at night, exercise during the day, avoid daytime naps, and make your bedroom comfortable .

The national Sleep Heart Health Study found that regularly sleeping less than 7 hours a night and more than 9 hours a night was associated with an increased prevalence of hypertension. Regularly sleeping less than 5 hours a night was linked to a significant risk of hypertension long term .

Home Blood Pressure Monitoring

What is Hypertension? aka High Blood Pressure

Some people buy their own blood pressure monitor to use at home. This means you can measure your blood pressure on an ongoing basis.

The blood pressure readings you do at home are as good as those done by your doctor.

If you decide to buy one, it’s important to get the correct cuff size. If the cuff is too big or too small, it can give an inaccurate reading.

If you take your own blood pressure and get an unusually high reading, take it a second time after at least five minutes. If it’s still high and you’re worried, contact your nurse or GP.

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Diagnosing Hypertension By Measuring Blood Pressure

The diagnosis of hypertension is made by measuring blood pressure with a device called a blood pressure monitor.

Blood pressure measurement in the doctors officeThe doctor chooses an electronic blood pressure monitor with a cuff that fits the size of the arm.

The blood pressure should be measured at least twice in a row during the same consultation, either sitting or lying down, after resting for several minutes .

The heart rate is also measured. Normally, at rest, the adult heart beats in a regular rhythm .

The frequency of the heartbeat may be slightly slower or faster, depending on the individual, age, physical exercise, or time of day. However, the heartbeat remains regular.

When the beats are no longer regular or when their frequency accelerates or slows down abnormally, we speak of rhythm disorders or cardiac arrhythmia.

At the first consultation, the blood pressure should be taken on both arms. If the measurement differs from one arm to the other, new measurements will be taken on the arm with a higher result.

The blood pressure number taken is the average of the numbers found.

The blood pressure is then measured while standing, after 1 to 3 minutes of standing, to look for an abnormal drop in blood pressure. In this case, it is called orthostatic hypotension.

The diagnosis of hypertension is confirmed by the attending physician through new measurements taken at frequent visits .

We speak of hypertension if the following results are observed on several occasions

The Definition For What Is Considered High Blood Pressure Has Been Tightened Here’s What You Need To Know

If you didn’t have high blood pressure before, there’s a good chance you do now.

In 2017, new guidelines from the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and nine other health organizations lowered the numbers for the diagnosis of hypertension to 130/80 millimeters of mercury and higher for all adults. The previous guidelines set the threshold at 140/90 mm Hg for people younger than age 65 and 150/80 mm Hg for those ages 65 and older.

This means 70% to 79% of men ages 55 and older are now classified as having hypertension. That includes many men whose blood pressure had previously been considered healthy. Why the change?

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Check Your Blood Pressure At Home

The new guidelines note that blood pressure should be measured on a regular basis and encourage people to use home blood pressure monitors. Monitors can range from $40 to $100 on average, but your insurance may cover part or all of the cost. Measure your blood pressure a few times a week and see your doctor if you notice any significant changes. Here are some tips on how to choose and use a monitor.


  • Select a monitor that goes around your upper arm. Wrist and finger monitors are not as precise.
  • Select an automated monitor, which has a cuff that inflates itself.
  • Look for a digital readout that is large and bright enough to see clearly.
  • Consider a monitor that also plugs into your smartphone to transfer the readings to an app, which then creates a graph of your progress. Some devices can send readings wirelessly to your phone.


How To Lower Blood Pressure

Checking Blood Pressure at Home

There are lots of things you can do to lower your blood pressure.

If your doctor has given you blood pressure medication, take it as prescribed. However, you’ll also need to follow a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Even if you haven’t been diagnosed with hypertension, following these tips will be good for your blood pressure and good for your heart.

Quit smoking

Stopping smoking is a great thing you can do for your blood pressure and your heart health.

Ask your doctor or nurse for help.

Phone Quitline 0800 778 778, or visit for information and support.

Eat more heart-healthy foods and less salt

What you put into your body can make a big difference to your blood pressure.

Eat a wide variety of heart-healthy foods like:

  • whole grains

Read more about the benefits of exercise.

Manage stress

Researchers are still trying to understand the exact link between stress and long-term high blood pressure. However being stressed contributes to other risk factors like poor diet and drinking more alcohol.

You can’t always remove the sources of stress in your life. But here are some things you can do to manage them.

  • Enjoy exercise every day, like taking a walk.
  • Take a break for yourself.
  • Get 7-8 hours plus sleep each night.
  • Talk about how you are feeling.
  • Try relaxation music or breathing exercises.

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What Is Blood Pressure

Blood pressure refers to the pressure within the arterial system of the body. It has two components the systolic pressure and the diastolic pressure. It is written as systolic pressure / diastolic pressure in millimeters mercury . Systolic pressure represents the pressure within the arterial system during the contraction of the left ventricle of the heart pump, and the diastolic pressure represents the pressure during relaxation of the left ventricle. Normal blood pressure of an average adult is considered as 130/80 mmHg. Systolic pressure is dependent upon the cardiac output or the amount of blood ejected from the left ventricle during each contraction and the diastolic pressure is dependent on the resistant of the arteries which correlate inversely with the diameter of arteries. Blood pressure can be different among individuals based on many factors such as age, gender, height, body mass, etc. Blood pressure monitors are used to check the blood pressure.

Home Blood Pressure Checks

We strongly encourage women to own and use a home blood pressure cuff. Devices can be purchased from local drug stores or online for $20 to $50.

If cost is a barrier, check out the Preeclampsia Foundation. This nonprofit organization offers low-to-no-cost blood pressure “Cuff Kits” for women who meet eligibility requirements. Learn more.

When checking your blood pressure at home:

  • Check it at the same time every day when possible.
  • Sit upright and slightly reclined. Lying down may lead to a false low reading.
  • Record your blood pressure readings in a journal or on your phone. Show it to your doctor to assess trends related to your daily life. Get more tips now.

Morbidity and mortality related to postpartum hypertension should be 100 percent preventable. Our goal is to help educate and care for more women to prevent maternal blood pressure issues postpartum. It wont take much to make a big difference.

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Risks Of High Blood Pressure

If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your blood vessels, heart and other organs, such as the brain, kidneys and eyes.

Persistent high blood pressure can increase your risk of a number of serious and potentially life-threatening health conditions, such as:

  • have a relative with high blood pressure
  • are of black African or black Caribbean descent
  • live in a deprived area

Making healthy lifestyle changes can sometimes help reduce your chances of getting high blood pressure and help lower your blood pressure if it’s already high.

How To Control High Blood Pressure

What is High Blood Pressure? | New Hypertension Guidelines! | Doctor Mike

Changing your lifestyle through a low-sodium diet and regular exercise can help control high blood pressure. This treatment route is typically recommended for anyone with hypertension, McKnight says.

Still, lifestyle modifications aren’t always enough to properly manage high blood pressure. For these patients, doctors may also prescribe medications like diuretics or ACE inhibitors.

In addition to these aspects of treatment, McKnight says it’s important to routinely visit your doctor to monitor your blood pressure and keep it under control.

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How Is High Blood Pressure Diagnosed

Measuring blood pressure is very straightforward and can be done with your doctor. Your doctor will place an inflatable cuff around your arm and use a pressure measuring gauge. The reading has two numbers. The first number measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats. The second measures the pressure in your arteries between beats.

The measurements fall into four general categories:

  • Normal blood pressure: A normal reading is below 120/80 mm Hg
  • Prehypertension: A systolic pressure ranging from 120 to 139 mm Hg or a diastolic pressure ranging from 80 to 89 mm Hg. Prehypertension tends to get worse over time
  • Stage 1 hypertension: A systolic pressure ranging from 140 to 159 mm Hg or a diastolic pressure ranging from 90 to 99mm Hg
  • Stage 2 hypertension: Severe hypertension. Stage 2 is a systolic pressure of 160 mm Hg or higher or a diastolic pressure of 100 mm Hg or higher

Before being diagnosed with high blood pressure, your doctor will take two to three readings as it can vary throughout the day.

This is one of the checks that is done on our mobile Heart Health Check Tour, along with high cholesterol and blood sugar level checks.

What Do I Need To Know About The Stages Of Hypertension

  • Normal blood pressure is 119/79 or lower . Your healthcare provider may only check your blood pressure each year if it stays at a normal level.
  • Elevated blood pressure is 120/79 to 129/79 . This is sometimes called prehypertension. Your healthcare provider may suggest lifestyle changes to help lower your blood pressure to a normal level. He or she may then check it again in 3 to 6 months.
  • Stage 1 hypertension is 130/80 to 139/89 . Your provider may recommend lifestyle changes, medication, and checks every 3 to 6 months until your blood pressure is controlled.
  • Stage 2 hypertension is 140/90 or higher . Your provider will recommend lifestyle changes and have you take 2 kinds of hypertension medicines. You will also need to have your blood pressure checked monthly until it is controlled.

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What Are The Complications Of Uncontrolled Hypertension

  • Chest pain, also called angina.
  • Heart attack, which occurs when the blood supply to the heart is blocked and heart muscle cells die from lack of oxygen. The longer the blood flow is blocked, the greater the damage to the heart.
  • Heart failure, which occurs when the heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to other vital body organs.
  • Irregular heart beat which can lead to a sudden death.


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