Symptom: High Blood Pressure

    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. Picture of the blood pressure and circulatory system 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).
  • Public awareness of these dangers has increased. High blood pressure has become the second most common reason for medical office visits in the United States.
  • How is blood pressure measured? 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.
  • Picture of diastolic and systolic blood pressure 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) 140-159/90-99
  • High blood pressure (stage 2) higher than 160/100
  • As many as 60 million Americans have high blood pressure.
  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure may be responsible for many cases of death and disability resulting from heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure.
  • According to research studies, the risk of dying of a heart attack is directly linked to high blood pressure, particularly systolic hypertension. The higher your blood pressure, the higher the risk. Maintaining lifelong control of hypertension decreases the future risk of complications such as heart attack and stroke.

    Source: http://www.emedicinehealth.com

  • 1 23...Next»(Page 1 of 15)GlossaryHigh Blood Pressure Topic Guide YOU MAY ALSO LIKE VIEW High Blood Pressure Symptoms, Causes and Treatments Must Read Articles Related to High Blood Pressure Angina Pectoris Angina pectoris is a term to describe chest pain that occurs when the heart is not getting enough blood. There are two types of angina, stable (the most common)...learn more >> Aortic Aneurysm An aortic aneuyrsm is a medical emergency. Abnormal enlargement or buldging of the aorta becomes an aortic aneurysm when this area becoms weakened. Common cause...learn more >> Atrial Fibrillation Atrial fibrillation (AFib) describes a rapid, irregular heart rhythm. The irregular rhythm, or arrhythmia, results from abnormal electrical impulses in the hear...learn more >> See the Entire High Blood Pressure Topic Guide » Patient Comments & Reviews The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about High Blood Pressure: High Blood Pressure - Effective Treatments What kinds of treatments have been effective for your high blood pressure? View 1 Comment Share Your Story High Blood Pressure - Experience Please describe your experience with high blood pressure. View 1 Comment Share Your Story High Blood Pressure - Diagnosis How was your high blood pressure diagnosed? View 1 Comment Share Your Story High Blood Pressure - Medications Please share medications for your high blood pressure? 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    Cancer Health Center an online symptom search and symptom directory. Here you can find what is the symptom High Blood Pressure and what does it mean, you can also check what illnesses and diseases this symptom relates to.