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Hypertension

Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure.

Blood pressure is the force at which blood flows through the large blood vessels from the heart. Blood pressure readings are divided into two numbers. An example of a blood pressure reading is 110/70. The top number is the systolic pressure meaning the pressure generated when the heart contracts. The bottom number is the diastolic pressure, the pressure that remains when the heart relaxes.

Hypertension is diagnosed with blood pressure readings. It occurs when there is a systolic reading of 140 or greater at rest, or a diastolic reading of 90 or greater at rest.

 Usually, high readings have to be recorded on at least three separate occasions to be considered accurate. The higher the readings are, the more severe the condition is. Readings near these high values, such as 135/85, might be considered prehypertension, formerly known as "borderline hypertension."

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