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What is hypertension?

Hypertension (High blood pressure) is a global health problem. It is estimated that by the year 2025, 1.56 billion people worldwide will have hypertension. As time goes by hypertension becomes more and more common to the extent that it is considered normal to have hypertension.
Blood pressure is the force exerted by blood as it flows along blood vessels. Your blood pressure reading is composed of two values; the systolic value and diastolic value.

Systolic pressure: this is the pressure exerted on your blood vessels as the heart pumps blood around the body.
Diastolic pressure: this is the pressure exerted on your blood vessels when the heart relaxes to refill with blood.

The American Heart Association (AHA) defines blood pressure in the following ranges in mmHg:
  • Normal Blood pressure is when systolic is less than 120 and diastolic is less than 80
  • Prehypertension is when the systolic pressure is between 120-139 and or diastolic is between 80-89
  • Stage 1 hypertension is when systolic pressure is between 140-159 and or diastolic pressure is between 90-99
  • Stage 2 hypertension is when the systolic pressure is above 160 and or diastolic pressure is above 100
  • Hypertensive crisis which is a  medical emergency is when the systolic pressure is greater than 180 and or the diastolic pressure is greater than 110

So a normal blood pressure value is written as 110(systolic)/76 (diastolic)

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