Hypertension (high blood pressure, HTN) is a potentially serious condition that may lead to stroke, heart disease, heart failure, and kidney failure. High blood pressure usually has no symptoms and someone can have it for years without realizing it. Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries while the heart pumps. If this pressure stays high for an extended amount of time, it may cause damage to the body.
- For most people, a normal blood pressure reading is less than 120/80 mm Hg.
- The high number is called the systolic reading and the low number is called the diastolic.
- It is estimated that around 1 in 3 adults (73 million people) in the U.S. has high blood pressure.