What Is Hypertension

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Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is defined as a reading of 140/90 on three consecutive measurements at least six hours apart. The definition varies for pregnant women, where hypertension is defined as 140/90 on two consecutive measurements six hours apart. Consistently high blood pressure causes the heart to work harder than it should and can damage the coronary arteries, the brain, the kidneys, and the eyes. Hypertension is a major cause of stroke.

A kidney (left) and a cross-section of a heart (right) that were affected by hypertension. The heart shows signs of advanced atherosclerosis, one possible complication arising from hypertension. [Photograph by Dr. E. Walker. Photo Researchers, Inc. Reproduced by permission.]

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Blood Pressure Health

Blood Pressure Health

Your heart pumps blood throughout your body using a network of tubing called arteries and capillaries which return the blood back to your heart via your veins. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart beats.Learn more...

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