High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a disease. Even though it typically has no symptoms, HBP can have deadly health consequences if not treated. 76.4 million U.S. adults have been diagnosed with high blood pressure.
The first step in preventing and controlling high blood pressure is to learn the answers to a few questions, such as:
- What is high blood pressure, and what happens in a person's body that makes it dangerous?
Over time, if the force of the blood flow is often high, the tissue that makes up the walls of arteries gets stretched beyond its healthy limit. This creates problems in several ways.
Click chart to see the blood pressure categories
- What do the numbers in a blood pressure reading mean?
The two numbers tell you the amount of force pushing against your artery walls when the heart is contracting and when the heart is at rest. Find out why these numbers are so important to your health.
- When does HBP require emergency medical treatment?
High blood pressure often does its damage without creating symptoms, but when blood pressure numbers rise above 180 for the systolic pressure or 110 for the diastolic pressure, you need emergency treatment.
- When is blood pressure too low?
Although it is possible that low blood pressure can alert you to a problem, it is usually only dangerous if it causes notable signs and symptoms.
- What is pulmonary hypertension?
Pulmonary hypertension is high blood pressure in the heart-to-lungs system. Your blood has two loops in the circulation system. One goes to the body. The other goes to your lungs.
- What is metabolic syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of health factors that indicate a higher risk for heart disease. Blood pressure is one measurement on the list.
- What is the difference between blood pressure and heart rate?
Blood pressure is the amount of force on your arteries and your heart rate is number of times per minute your heart beats. Find out more about the impact of these numbers on your health.
- Are you informed about high blood pressure?
Test your blood pressure IQ, find out your chances of escaping the silent killer, and get the latest scoop on sodium.
- How do I get on the path to managing my blood pressure?
Find out what you can do, step by step, to manage your blood pressure and experience the positive health results. We've outlined a plan you can put into action today.
This content was last reviewed on 04/04/2012.