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The heart pumps blood into the arteries with enough force to push blood to the far reaches

of each organ from the top of the head to the bottom of the feet. Blood pressure can be defined as the pressure of blood on the walls of the arteries as it circulates through the body. Blood pressure is highest as its leaves the heart through the aorta and gradually decreases as it enters smaller and smaller blood vessels (arteries, arterioles, and capillaries). Blood returns in the veins leading to the heart, aided by gravity and muscle contraction.

Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure. It is known as the "silent killer" since it has no initial symptoms but can lead to long-term disease and complications. Many people have high blood pressure and don't know it. Important complications of uncontrolled or poorly treated high blood pressure include heart attack, congestive heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, peripheral artery disease, and aortic aneurysms (weakening of the wall of the aorta, leading to widening or ballooning of the aorta).

Blood pressure is measured with a blood pressure cuff and recorded as two numbers, for example, 120/80 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury). Blood pressure measurements are usually taken at the upper arm over the brachial artery. The top, larger number is called the systolic pressure. This measures the pressure generated when the heart contracts (pumps). It reflects the pressure of the blood against arterial walls. The bottom, smaller number is called the diastolic pressure. This reflects the pressure in the arteries while the heart is filling and resting between heartbeats.

The American Heart Association has recommended guidelines to define normal and high blood pressure. Normal blood pressure less than 120/80 Pre-hypertension 120-139/ 80-89 High blood pressure (stage 1) 140-159/9099 High blood pressure (stage 2) higher than 160/100

In 90% of people with hypertension, the cause of high blood pressure is not known and is referred to as primary or essential hypertension. While the specific cause is unknown, there are risk factors that can contribute to developing high blood pressure. Factors that can not be changed Age

Race Socioeconomic status:

Family history (heredity


Lifestyle changes can help you prevent high blood pressure. These changes are especially important for people who have risk factors for high blood pressure that cannot be changed, including family history, race, or age. Here are some things you can do: Stay at a healthy weight. Eat less salt. Get regular exercise. Cut back on drinking. Eat heart-healthy foods.

Blood pressure control is a lifelong challenge. Hypertension can progress through the years, and treatments that worked earlier in life may need to be adjusted over time. Blood pressure control may involve a stepwise approach beginning with diet,weight loss, and lifestyle changes and eventually adding medications as required. In some situations, medications may be recommended immediately. As with many diseases, the health care practitioner and patient work together as a team to find the treatment plan that will work for that specific individual.