What is hypertension?
Hypertension is another word for high blood pressure. The Canadian Medical Association Journal found that the number of Canadian adults with hypertension doubled between 1995 and 2005 and approximately a quarter of the adult population lives with this condition.Plenty of people have high blood pressure, so what is hypertension, and how does it come about?
To answer the question of what is hypertension you must understand a bit of the science behind blood pressure. Blood pressure is the force that blood exerts on the walls of your arteries. Over time, stemming from several causes, it becomes more difficult for blood to travel through the arteries. The arteries begin to narrow and so the heart has to work harder for the necessary amount of blood to be pushed through to its intended destination.
With normal blood pressure, there's little to obstruct the blood flow and it may pass easily pass through, but with high blood pressure it pushes against the walls of the arteries while fighting against a range of causes including plaque buildup or stress.
What is hypertension? When blood puts too much pressure on the arteries' walls.
What is hypertension? Hypertension is a broad category that has different degrees of severity depending on how high your blood pressure is. Blood pressure is measured in mmHg, with the first value representing the pressure when your heart contracts, and the second value expressing the pressure when your heart relaxes. According to the most recent national guidelines (established in the JNC 7 report) the different categories are:
Normal: 120/80 mmHg
Prehypertension: 120-139/80-89 mmHg
Stage 1 Hypertension: 140-159/90-99 mmHg
Stage 2 Hypertension: 160/100 + mmHg
It's important to go to your doctor if you have Stage 1 or Stage 2 Hypertension. You now know the explanation of what is hypertension.