What is High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure (HBP) also known as hypertension is a body health complication that affects the heart and leads to increased force or pressure of blood pumping activity. Hypertension leads to increased force pushing the blood against the heart’s artery walls as it pumps blood.
The force affects normal functioning of the heart in the process of blood distribution in the body leading to malfunction of other vital parts that require a sufficient supply of blood. It is a serious condition that leads to other life-threatening health complications such as heart failure, coronary disease, kidney failure and stroke.
According to medical and health research, approximately 1 person in 3 is a blood pressure victim/patient in the United States. Usually, HBP has no known signs or symptoms and mostly you can have it for a very long period without knowing.
However, during the period that you have no knowledge regarding the presence of hypertension, the disease can damage various parts of your body. The commonly affected parts include blood vessels, the heart, kidneys, and brain. Medical professionals recommend that it is essential and important to know your blood pressure number even if your body health is stable.
The recommendation insists on personal blood pressure knowledge to ensure beneficial treatment to the victims to prevent damage to vital body parts and for effective health care to prevent the occurrence to those with normal blood pressure number.
Understanding High Blood Pressure Numbers
Hypertension is measured in units known as mmHg or millimeters of mercury. The body blood pressure is not constant all the time but keeps changing depending on body health, physical and mental activities and situations such as nervousness and excitement. For example, the pressure lowers when you are asleep and rises when you wake.
Blood pressure measurements are classified as either systolic or diastolic pressures. Diastolic refers to the blood pressure when the heart rests between the heart beats on the process of blood pumping. On the other hand, systolic refers to the blood pressure when hearts beats while it pumps blood.
The numbers are written in the format 130/70 mmHg whereby the first number represents the systolic number and the second representing diastolic number. The numbers can either be below or above the normal blood pressure.
Blood Pressure Stages
Blood pressure is said to be high if the number is above the normal blood pressure number. The normal blood pressure for adults above 18 years is 120/80mmHg. The following are stages of blood pressure.
- Normal stage – 120/80mmHg
- Pre-hypertension stage – 120-139/80-89mmHg (slightly above the normal range).
- High blood pressure stage – The stage has two sub-stages depending on the blood pressure number above the normal. For sub-stage 1, the number is in the range 140-159/90-99mmHg while sub-stage 2 has a number in the range 160 or higher/100 or higher.