Hypertension is abnormally high blood pressure in the arteries, which are the blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body. As the heart beats, it forces blood through the arteries to deliver nutrients and oxygen to the rest of the body. The strength of the blood pushing against the artery walls is blood pressure, which is measured in units called millimeters of mercury (mmHg). The top number in a blood pressure reading is the pressure when the heart pumps (systolic blood pressure), and the bottom number is the pressure between heart beats (diastolic blood pressure). In adults, a normal blood pressure measurement is about 120/80 mmHg. Blood pressure is considered high when the measurement is 130/80 mmHg or greater.
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