Hypertension

Hypertension is the term used to describe high blood pressure.

Blood pressure is a measurement of the force against the walls of your arteries as the heart pumps blood through the body.

Blood pressure readings are measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and usually given as two numbers -- for example, 120 over 80 (written as 120/80 mmHg). One or both of these numbers can be too high.

The top number is your systolic pressure.

It is considered high if it is over 140 most of the time.
It is considered normal if it is below 120 most of the time.

The bottom number is your diastolic pressure.

It is considered high if it is over 90 most of the time.
It is considered normal if it is below 80 most of the time.

Pre-hypertension may be considered when your:
Top number (systolic blood pressure) is between 120 and 139 most of the time, or
Bottom number (diastolic blood pressure) is between 80 and 89 most of the time

If you have pre-hypertension, you are more likely to develop high blood pressure.

If you have heart or kidney problems, or if you had a stroke, your doctor may want your blood pressure to be even lower than that of people who do not have these conditions.