Hypertension or high blood pressure often produces no symptoms, but it can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other serious health conditions. Medication and lifestyle choices can help manage hypertension.

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is when the pressure in your blood vessels is too high (140/90 mmHg or higher). It is common but can be serious if not treated.

People with high blood pressure may not feel symptoms. The only way to know is to get your blood pressure checked.

Things that increase the risk of having high blood pressure include:

  • older age 
  • genetics
  • being overweight or obese
  • not being physically active 
  • high-salt diet
  • drinking too much alcohol

Lifestyle changes like eating a healthier diet, quitting tobacco and being more active can help lower blood pressure. Some people may still need to take medicines.

Blood pressure is written as two numbers. The first (systolic) number represents the pressure in blood vessels when the heart contracts or beats. The second (diastolic) number represents the pressure in the vessels when the heart rests between beats.

Hypertension is diagnosed if, when it is measured on two different days, the systolic blood pressure readings on both days is ≥140 mmHg and/or the diastolic blood pressure readings on both days is ≥90 mmHg.

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