Blood pressure: how high is high?

Friday, November 30th, 2018 | by

About a year ago the number of U.S. adult men and women with high blood pressure (HBP) or hypertension rose to almost 103 million. This increase was brought about not by new cases of HBP, but by changes in the definition of blood pressure, which eliminated the prehypertension category. Two times as many women and three times as many men were now considered at higher risk in the under-45 age range. The world is still catching up to the new guidelines. What do they say?


First, a quick definition of high blood pressure

Hypertension happens when the force of blood against blood vessel walls is too high, too often. Blood pressure is measured with two numbers. Systolic pressure (e.g., 119/79), is the pressure of blood being pumped into the body. The second, diastolic (e.g., 119/79), is measured when the heart rests. Sometimes the numbers are followed by “mmHG,” which means millimeters of mercury. The chart below sticks to the numbers.


Going for zero heart attacks and strokes

Omron Healthcare started Going for Zero™ as a pledge that everyone can follow, a commitment to work for better heart health. If untreated, about half of people with high blood pressure die of heart disease, and another third of them die of stroke. Changing our lifestyles, maintaining healthy habits and staying educated are essential ways to make progress on the mission.