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High Blood Pressure

Also called: Benign essential hypertension, Essential hypertension, HBP, HTN, Hypertension

Summary

Blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Each time your heart beats, it pumps blood into the arteries. Your blood pressure is highest when your heart beats, pumping the blood. This is called systolic pressure. When your heart is at rest, between beats, your blood pressure falls. This is called diastolic pressure.

Your blood pressure reading uses these two numbers. Usually the systolic number comes before or above the diastolic number. A reading of

  • 119/79 or lower is normal blood pressure
  • 140/90 or higher is high blood pressure
  • Between 120 and 139 for the top number, or between 80 and 89 for the bottom number is called prehypertension. Prehypertension means you may end up with high blood pressure, unless you take steps to prevent it.

High blood pressure usually has no symptoms, but it can cause serious problems such as stroke, heart failure, heart attack and kidney failure.

You can control high blood pressure through healthy lifestyle habits such as exercise and the DASH diet and taking medicines, if needed.

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Start Here

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) Also in
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • Easy-to-Read (Food and Drug Administration) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Kidney Disease Education Program)
  • (American Heart Association)

Symptoms

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) Also in

Diagnosis and Tests

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • From the National Institutes of Health Video (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)

Prevention and Risk Factors

Treatments and Therapies

Living With

Related Issues

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
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  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
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  • (American Heart Association)
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  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) Also in
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (American Heart Association)
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  • (American Heart Association)
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  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) Also in
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  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

Specifics

  • (American Heart Association)
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Genetics

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)

Health Check Tools

  • (American Heart Association)
  • (American Heart Association)

Videos and Tutorials

Statistics and Research

  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (American Heart Association)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) - PDF
  • Infographic (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Reference Desk

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Find an Expert

  • From the National Institutes of Health

Children

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  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Kidney Disease Education Program) Also in
  • (U.S. Preventive Services Task Force) - PDF

Teenagers

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Women

  • (American Heart Association)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

Seniors

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging) Also in
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Patient Handouts

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