Hypertension Basics Guide: Understanding the Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatments

Medically Reviewed by Madeline Hubbard, RN, BSN

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Hypertension Basics Guide: Understanding the Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatments

“Blood pressure” is a medical term that describes how much blood your heart is able to pump and how much resistance your arteries exert while blood is flowing through them. High blood pressure occurs when your heart pumps blood into arteries that have narrowed. Chronic high blood pressure is known as hypertension, and it can have serious, long-term health consequences. Hypertension puts people at risk for strokes, heart attacks, heart failure, aneurysms and other health conditions.

Hypertension affects 108 million people in the United states, and over 75% of them have uncontrolled hypertension — meaning they're not getting treatment for it — or haven’t successfully lowered their blood pressure back down to within normal limits. This can become a serious issue that impacts all areas of your health. That's why it’s important to understand what hypertension is and what you can do about it to lead a healthier life after a diagnosis.