Is High Blood Pressure Considered Heart Disease?

Blood pressure is the measurement of the force of your blood pressing against the walls of your arteries. When your blood pressure increases, your heart has to work harder to pump blood through your circulatory system. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a condition in which your blood pressure measurements are consistently too high. While high blood pressure itself is not considered to be heart disease, it can cause heart disease or other serious cardiovascular issues and be a major risk factor for having a heart attack if left uncontrolled. High blood pressure often can be a condition that you don’t even know you have. That’s why it’s so important to know your numbers and monitor them on a regular basis. When it comes to measuring blood pressure, here’s what the numbers mean:

  • Systolic pressure (the top number) measures pressure in your arteries during heartbeats.
  • Diastolic pressure (the bottom number) measures pressure in your arteries between heartbeats.

Blood pressure categories include:

  • Normal: Less than 120/80 mm Hg
  • Elevated: Top number (systolic) between 120-129 and bottom number (diastolic) less than 80
  • Stage 1: Systolic between 130-139 or diastolic between 80-89
  • Stage 2: Systolic at least 140 or diastolic at least 90 mm Hg
  • Hypertensive crisis: Top number over 180 and/or bottom number over 120, with patients needing prompt changes in medication if there are no other symptoms, or immediate hospitalization if there are signs of organ damage

Aside from high blood pressure, many other factors could be increasing your risk for developing heart disease. Take our free heart health assessment to learn your heart’s real age and what you can do now to reduce your risk of developing heart disease in the future.

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