Blood pressure is a measure of how hard the blood pushes against the walls of your arteries as it moves through your body. Blood pressure readings consist of an upper number and a lower number (such as 120 over 90 or 120/90). High blood pressure is 140/90 or higher.
When blood pressure is high, it starts to damage the blood vessels, heart, and kidneys. This can lead to heart attack, stroke, and other problems.
High blood pressure is also called hypertension. It can be managed with lifestyle changes and medicines.
Last Revised: April 5, 2013
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology
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