The Facts About High Blood Pressure

Updated:Dec 7,2016
Get the facts about blood pressure

What is high blood pressure?
High blood pressure (HBP or hypertension) is when your blood pressure, the force of the blood flowing through your blood vessels, is consistently too high.

If you have high blood pressure, you are not alone

  • About 80 million Americans — one out of every three adults over age 20 — have high blood pressure. (Nearly 20 percent don’t even know they have it.)
  • The best way to know if you have high blood pressure it is to have your blood pressure checked.

Know your numbers
Learn about checking your blood pressure numbers and what they mean.

Blood Pressure
Category
Systolic
mm Hg (upper #)
  Diastolic
mm Hg (lower #)
Normal less than 120
and less than 80
Prehypertension 120139
or 8089
High Blood Pressure
(Hypertension) Stage 1
140159
or 9099
High Blood Pressure
(Hypertension) Stage 2
160 or higher or 100 or higher
Hypertensive Crisis
(Emergency care needed)
Higher than 180
or
Higher than 110

High blood pressure is a “silent killer”

  • Most of the time there are no obvious symptoms.
  • Certain physical traits and lifestyle choices can put you at a greater risk for developing high blood pressure.
  • When left untreated, the damage that high blood pressure does to your circulatory system is a significant contributing factor to heart attack, stroke and other health threats.

Launch the HBP risk calculator Determine your health risks from high blood pressure

All it takes is a few clicks and a few minutes.

There is hope

  • While there is no cure for high blood pressure, with proper treatment and management, you can live a long and healthy life.
  • An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

This content was last reviewed October 2016.

Our Sponsor

Bayer Consumer Health, maker of Coricidin® HBP, is a proud sponsor of the AHA High Blood Pressure Web content area. 
Learn more about Bayer Consumer Health.

Subscribe to Heart Insight magazine and monthly e-newsletter
Heart Insight Masthead
Our digital magazine delivers helpful articles and the latest news on keeping your heart healthy. Sign up today!
 

 

 

 
 
By clicking submit below you agree to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

High Blood Pressure

Interactive High Blood Pressure Guide

Interactive High Blood Pressure Guide

Find videos, trackers and more with our interactive HBP guide. The guide has tips to empower you to manage your blood pressure. Get started!
Also available as a downloadable PDF.