Hypertension is the clinical term for high blood pressure. There is no firm rule about what defines high blood pressure. Your risk of heart, stroke and blood vessel disease increases as your blood pressure increases, and for most people, the lower the blood pressure the better. However, the following figures are a useful guide.

Normal blood pressure: generally less than 120/80 mmHg
Normal to high-normal blood pressure: between 120/80 and 140/90 mmHg
High blood pressure (hypertension): 140/90 mmHg or higher

If your blood pressure is 180/110 mmHg or higher, you have very high blood pressure.
(NB: This is a guide only. If you are concerned about your blood pressure, please consult a medical professional)

If your blood pressure remains high, it can lead to serious problems such as heart attack, stroke, heart failure or kidney disease. High blood pressure usually does not give warning signs. You can have high blood pressure and feel perfectly well. The only way to find out if your blood pressure is high is by having it checked regularly by your doctor. The following factors increase the risks of serious problems associated with high blood pressure: smoking having high blood cholesterol being overweight having diabetes.

Your lifestyle is very important in helping you to control high blood pressure and its associated risks. Your doctor will probably advise you to: quit smoking, reduce your salt intake, achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, limit your alcohol intake, undertake regular physical activity.

Many people with high blood pressure will need to take medicines for the long-term that help to lower it. It is important that you take any blood pressure medicine exactly as it is prescribed. Don't stop taking it or change the dose without talking to your doctor first.

Information courtesy of the Heart Foundation.

This disease is being researched in the following projects:

Research Projects