A condition in which the force of the blood against the artery walls is too high.
Usually hypertension is defined as blood pressure above 140/90, and is considered severe if the pressure is above 180/120. High blood pressure often has no symptoms. Over time, if untreated, it can cause health conditions, such as heart disease and stroke. Eating a healthier diet with less salt, exercising regularly and taking medication can help lower blood pressure.
Blood pressure is the force exerted by circulating blood against the walls of the body’s arteries, the major blood vessels in the body. Hypertension is when blood pressure is too high.
Hypertension is a serious medical condition and can increase the risk of heart, brain, kidney and other diseases. It is a major cause of premature death worldwide, with upwards of 1 in 4 men and 1 in 5 women – over a billion people – having the condition. The burden of hypertension is felt disproportionately in low- and middle-income countries, where two thirds of cases are found, largely due to increased risk factors in those populations in recent decades.
Blood pressure is determined both by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure. A blood pressure reading is given in millimeters of mercury.