(Blood Pressure, High; Essential Hypertension; Idiopathic Hypertension; Primary Hypertension)
High blood pressure is abnormally high blood pressure with no known cause. Blood pressure measurements are read as two numbers:
High blood pressure is defined as systolic pressure greater than 140 mmHg and/or diastolic pressure greater than 90 mmHg. You are considered prehypertensive if your systolic blood pressure is between 120-139 mmHg, or your diastolic pressure is between 80- 89 mmHg. Your doctor will recommend monitoring and lifestyle changes.
High blood pressure puts stress on the heart, lungs, brain, kidneys, and blood vessels. Over time, this condition can damage these organs and tissues.
Organs Impacted by High Blood Pressure
© 2009 Nucleus Medical Art, Inc.* Causes
The cause of essential hypertension is not known.* Risk Factors
These factors increase your chance of developing high blood pressure. Tell your doctor if you have any of these risk factors:
High blood pressure usually does not cause symptoms. But, the condition can still damage your organs and tissues.
Occasionally, if blood pressure reaches extreme levels, you may have the following:
High blood pressure is often diagnosed during a doctor's visit. Blood pressure is measured using an arm cuff and a special device. If your reading is high, you'll come back for repeat checks. If you have two or more visits with readings over 140/90 mmHG, you will be diagnosed with high blood pressure.
Your doctor will order tests to make sure your high blood pressure is not caused by another condition. You will also be tested to see if the high blood pressure has cause any problems.
Note: Untreated high blood pressure can lead to:* Prevention
To help reduce your chances of getting high blood pressure, take the following steps:
Last reviewed December 2007 by Jill Landis, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.