Conditions InDepth: Hypertension
by Michael Jubinville, MPH
Hypertension is known as high blood pressure. Blood pressure (BP) is the measure of force that blood flow makes against the artery walls.
Normal BP is in the range of 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mmHg). The higher number is called systolic blood pressure (SBP). It’s the pressure in the artery when the heart beats. The lower number is called diastolic blood pressure (DBP). It’s the pressure when the heart is at rest.
Blood vessels help blood flow easily from one part of the body to another. This lets blood get to where it’s needed.
High blood pressure is caused by one or more of these:
These problems make it harder for the heart to push blood throughout the body. This can make the blood flow more turbulent, raising the pressure on the blood vessel walls.
There are 2 types:
High blood pressure. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/high-blood-pressure. Accessed September 15, 2020.
Hypertension. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115345/Hypertension. Accessed September 15, 2020.
What is high blood pressure? American Heart Association website. Available at: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/the-facts-about-high-blood-pressure. Accessed September 15, 2020.
Last reviewed September 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael J. Fucci, DO, FACC
Last Updated: 11/20/2020