The Basics

What is High Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is the force of blood flowing through your blood vessels. Normal blood pressure measures at or less than 120/80 mmHgHigh blood pressure, or hypertension, is when your blood pressure is consistently higher than normal.

Learn more about blood pressure numbers and what they mean.

Signs & Symptoms

High blood pressure usually has no symptoms. Many people do not know they have it. Measuring your blood pressure is the only true way to know if you have high blood pressure.

Learn about how to monitor your blood pressure.

Risk Factors

Risk factors that can increase your risk of high blood pressure include:

  • Elevated Blood Pressure (Measures between 120/80 and 129/80 mmHg)
  • Diabetes
  • Unhealthy Diet
  • Physical Inactivity
  • Obesity
  • Too Much Alcohol
  • Tobacco Use
  • Genes & Family History
  • Age, Sex, & Ethnicity

Learn more about the risk factors.

Health Risks

If left untreated, high blood pressure can damage your heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes.

Health issues that can be caused by untreated hypertension include:

  • Heart Attack
  • Heart Disease
  • Heart Failure
  • Stroke 
  • Kidney Disease
  • Kidney Failure
  • Poorer Cognitive Function or Dementia
  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
  • Vision Loss
  • Chest Pain (Angina)
  • Sexual Dysfunction

Learn more about the health risks.

Sources: CDC, American Heart Association