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 can 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 October 1, 2018.
Hypertension. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115345/Hypertension. Updated September 12, 2018. Accessed October 1, 2018.
Overview of hypertension. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/cardiovascular-disorders/hypertension/overview-of-hypertension. Updated February 2018. Accessed October 1, 2018.
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 October 1, 2018.
12/11/2009 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115345/Hypertension: He J, Gu D, Chen J, et al. Premature deaths attributable to blood pressure in China: a prospective cohort study. Lancet. 2009;374(9703):1765-1772.
1/5/2018 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115345/Hypertension: Whelton PK, Carey RM, Aronow WS, et al. 2017 ACC/AHA/AAPA/ABC/ACPM/AGS/APhA/ASH/ASPC/NMA/PCNA Guideline for the prevention, detection, evaluation, and management of high blood pressure in adults: executive summary: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines. Hypertension. 2018;71(6):1269-1324.
Last reviewed September 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael J. Fucci, DO, FACC
Last Updated: 10/1/2018
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