Why High Blood Pressure is a "Silent Killer"

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High blood pressure is often called the “silent killer”

Most of the time, high blood pressure (HBP, or hypertension) has no obvious symptoms to indicate that something is wrong. The best ways to protect yourself are being aware of the risks and making changes that matter.

A few facts to be aware of:

  • Many people with high blood pressure don’t even know they have it. Often the signs and symptoms are misunderstood.
  • High blood pressure develops slowly over time and can be related to many causes.
  • High blood pressure cannot be cured. But it can be managed effectively through lifestyle changes and, when needed, medication.

Know your numbers

Know where you stand by measuring your blood pressure.

BLOOD PRESSURE CATEGORY SYSTOLIC mm Hg
(upper number)
  DIASTOLIC mm Hg
(lower number)
NORMAL LESS THAN 120 and LESS THAN 80
ELEVATED 120 – 129 and LESS THAN 80
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
(HYPERTENSION) STAGE 1
130 – 139 or 80 – 89
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
(HYPERTENSION) STAGE 2
140 OR HIGHER or 90 OR HIGHER
HYPERTENSIVE CRISIS
(consult your doctor immediately)
HIGHER THAN 180 and/or HIGHER THAN 120

Download this chart: English (PDF) | Spanish (PDF) | Traditional Chinese (PDF)

Recognize your risks

Be aware of your risk factors – the physical and lifestyle attributes that can make you more likely to develop high blood pressure.

Awareness of your risks can help you identify positive changes that you can make. Do all you can to avoid the serious problems that can result from your blood pressure being too high for too long.


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Sponsor

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

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