What is hypertension (or high blood pressure)?

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, occurs when the pressure within the arteries is persistently elevated. This in turn can put a strain on the arteries and the heart. It is a very common condition affecting approximately 32% of male and 30% of female adults in England. 

By definition, raised blood pressure is defined as greater than 140/90mmHg although in some conditions such as Diabetes and heart failure lower target values are often used. 

Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg).  The top reading, systolic blood pressure, is the pressure in the arteries when the heart is pumping blood out.  The bottom reading, diastolic blood pressure, is the pressure in the arteries when the heart is relaxing and filling with blood.

Hypertension can lead to organ damage, causing heart attacks or myocardial Infarction, stroke, cardiac failure and kidney failure.

What are the symptoms of hypertension?

What are the causes of hypertension?

How is hypertension treated?

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