Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Blood pressure is measured as two numbers, written one over the other and recorded in millimetres of mercury – for example, 120/78 mm Hg. The top (higher) number is the systolic pressure – the pressure in the arteries as the heart is contracting – and the bottom (lower) number is the diastolic pressure – the pressure in the arteries when the heart is relaxed between beats. High blood pressure is defined as a repeatedly elevated systolic pressure of 140 or higher OR a diastolic pressure of 90 or higher.
1 WHO Regional Office for South East Asia. Hypertension fact sheet. Available at: http://www.searo.who.int/linkfiles/non_communicable_diseases_hypertension-fs.pdf. Accessed 21 March, 2012.
2 Global Atlas on Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Control. Mendis S, Puska P, Norrving B editors. World Health Organization (in collaboration with the World Heart Federation and World Stroke Organization), Geneva 2011.
3 Sowers JR, Epstein M, Frohlich ED. Diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. Hypertension. 2001;37:1053–1059.
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