High blood pressure is a common condition in which the long-term force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may. You probably have high blood pressure (hypertension) if your blood pressure readings are consistently over 90, or higher, over a number of weeks. High blood pressure, or hypertension, rarely has noticeable symptoms. But if untreated, it increases your risk of serious problems such as heart attacks and.
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You can also find machines in some stores that will measure your blood pressure for free. Public blood pressure machines, such as those found in pharmacies, may provide helpful information about your blood pressure, but they may have some limitations.
The accuracy of these machines depends on several factors, such as a correct cuff size and proper use of the machines. Ask your doctor for advice on using public blood pressure machines. For most adults, there's no identifiable cause of high blood pressure. This type of high blood pressure, called primary essential hypertension, tends to develop gradually over many years. Some people have high blood pressure caused by an underlying condition.
This type of high blood pressure, called secondary hypertension, tends to appear suddenly and cause higher blood pressure than does primary hypertension. Various conditions and medications can lead to secondary hypertension, including:. Drinking too much alcohol. Over time, heavy drinking can damage your heart.
Having more than one drink a day for women and more than two drinks a day for men may affect your blood pressure. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.
Although high blood pressure is most common in adults, children may be at risk, too. For some children, high blood pressure is caused by problems with the kidneys or heart. But for a growing number of kids, poor lifestyle habits, such as an unhealthy diet, obesity and lack of exercise, contribute to high blood pressure. The excessive pressure on your artery walls caused by high blood pressure can damage your blood vessels, as well as organs in your body.
The higher your blood pressure and the longer it goes uncontrolled, the greater the damage. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. This content does not have an English version.
This content does not have an Arabic version. Overview High blood pressure is a common condition in which the long-term force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease. Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic. References High blood pressure. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Accessed March 9, What is high blood pressure? When you should call for high blood pressure. Screening and home monitoring.
Preventive Services Task Force. Accessed March 27, Thomas G, et al. Blood pressure measurement in the diagnosis and treatment of hypertension in adults. Blood pressure monitoring kiosks aren't for everyone. Food and Drug Administration. Basile J, et al. Overview of hypertension in adults. Know your risk factors for high blood pressure. Accessed March 12, Limiting alcohol to manage high blood pressure.
High blood pressure and African Americans. Much of the disease burden of high blood pressure is experienced by people who are not labeled as hypertensive. Lifestyle changes are recommended to lower blood pressure, before starting medications. The British Hypertension Society guidelines  proposed lifestyle changes consistent with those outlined by the US National High BP Education Program in  for the primary prevention of hypertension:.
Effective lifestyle modification may lower blood pressure as much as an individual antihypertensive medication. Combinations of two or more lifestyle modifications can achieve even better results. Various expert groups have produced guidelines regarding how low the blood pressure target should be when a person is treated for hypertension. The first line of treatment for hypertension is lifestyle changes, including dietary changes, physical exercise, and weight loss.
Though these have all been recommended in scientific advisories,  a Cochrane systematic review found no evidence for effects of weight loss diets on death, long-term complications or adverse events in persons with hypertension.
Dietary changes shown to reduce blood pressure include diets with low sodium,    the DASH diet ,  vegetarian diets ,  and green tea consumption. Increasing dietary potassium has a potential benefit for lowering the risk of hypertension. Physical exercise regimens which are shown to reduce blood pressure include isometric resistance exercise , aerobic exercise , resistance exercise , and device-guided breathing.
Stress reduction techniques such as biofeedback or transcendental meditation may be considered as an add-on to other treatments to reduce hypertension, but do not have evidence for preventing cardiovascular disease on their own. Several classes of medications, collectively referred to as antihypertensive medications , are available for treating hypertension.
First-line medications for hypertension include thiazide-diuretics , calcium channel blockers , angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors ACE inhibitors , and angiotensin receptor blockers ARBs. Previously beta-blockers such as atenolol were thought to have similar beneficial effects when used as first-line therapy for hypertension.
However, a Cochrane review that included 13 trials found that the effects of beta-blockers are inferior to that of other antihypertensive medications in preventing cardiovascular disease. Resistant hypertension is defined as high blood pressure that remains above a target level, in spite of being prescribed three or more antihypertensive drugs simultaneously with different mechanisms of action.
Rates also vary markedly within regions with rates as low as 3. Rates of high blood pressure in children and adolescents have increased in the last 20 years in the United States. Kidney disease is the most common secondary cause of hypertension in children and adolescents.
Nevertheless, primary or essential hypertension accounts for most cases. Hypertension is the most important preventable risk factor for premature death worldwide. Modern understanding of the cardiovascular system began with the work of physician William Harvey — , who described the circulation of blood in his book " De motu cordis ". The English clergyman Stephen Hales made the first published measurement of blood pressure in In , Nikolai Korotkoff improved the technique by describing the Korotkoff sounds that are heard when the artery is ausculted with a stethoscope while the sphygmomanometer cuff is deflated.
The symptoms similar to symptoms of patients with hypertensive crisis are discussed in medieval Persian medical texts in the chapter of "fullness disease". Descriptions of hypertension as a disease came among others from Thomas Young in and especially Richard Bright in Historically the treatment for what was called the "hard pulse disease" consisted in reducing the quantity of blood by bloodletting or the application of leeches. In the 19th and 20th centuries, before effective pharmacological treatment for hypertension became possible, three treatment modalities were used, all with numerous side-effects: The first chemical for hypertension, sodium thiocyanate , was used in but had many side effects and was unpopular.
None of these were well tolerated. The first was chlorothiazide , the first thiazide diuretic and developed from the antibiotic sulfanilamide , which became available in The World Health Organization has identified hypertension, or high blood pressure, as the leading cause of cardiovascular mortality.
Over the past three years, more national societies have been engaging in WHD and have been innovative in their activities to get the message to the public. In , there was record participation from 47 member countries of the WHL.
During the week of WHD, all these countries — in partnership with their local governments, professional societies, nongovernmental organizations and private industries — promoted hypertension awareness among the public through several media and public rallies. Using mass media such as Internet and television, the message reached more than million people. As the momentum picks up year after year, the WHL is confident that almost all the estimated 1. High blood pressure is the most common chronic medical problem prompting visits to primary health care providers in USA.
People also face the challenges of adhering to medicine schedules and making lifestyle changes. Nonetheless, the achievement of blood pressure goals is possible, and most importantly, lowering blood pressure significantly reduces the risk of death due to heart disease and stroke, the development of other debilitating conditions, and the cost associated with advanced medical care.
A review of several studies found that restoring blood vitamin D levels by using supplements more than 1, IU per day reduced blood pressure in hypertensive individuals when they had existing vitamin D deficiency. Supplementation with vitamin D over 18 months in normotensive individuals with vitamin D deficiency did not significantly affect blood pressure. There is tentative evidence that an increased calcium intake may help in preventing hypertension. However, more studies are needed to assess the optimal dose and the possible side effects.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about arterial hypertension. For other forms of hypertension, see Hypertension disambiguation. Gestational hypertension and Pre-eclampsia. Comparison of international blood pressure guidelines.
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The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Retrieved 3 June A Hypothesis Challenging the Ancient Paradigm". Your doctor will tell you if you need medicine, and monitor its effects. You have to keep taking the medicines regularly, often for the rest of your life. Your doctor may want you to monitor your blood pressure at home, or wear a monitor over a hour period, to check how it varies. Keep track of your blood pressure with our Blood Pressure Record Card.
Know your risk factors and how to manage them. Sign up for the Heart Foundation newsletter. The medical name for high blood pressure over a long period of time is hypertension.
Causes The exact causes of high blood pressure are often not clear. Your blood pressure may be strongly influenced by: Some medicines can also raise blood pressure. Diagnosis The best way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked by your doctor or health practitioner. Read more on the tests page Blood pressure can vary at different times of the day.
High Blood Pressure Hits Urban Blacks Harder
What is high blood pressure or hypertension? The American Heart Association provides information on high blood pressure, low blood pressure, and how to. High blood pressure affects I in 4 American adults. Find in-depth high blood pressure and hypertension information including its causes, symptoms, and. High blood pressure is often associated with few or no symptoms. Many people have it for years without knowing it.