High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, affects millions of people worldwide, and is a major risk factor for stroke, myocardial infarction, or heart attack, vascular disease, and chronic kidney disease. Hypertension is referred to as persistent elevation of blood pressure in the systemic arterial circulation. Blood pressure is the pressure of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries. It is measured using two numbers. The first number, called systolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats. The second number, called diastolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats. Normal blood pressure is less than 120 mmHg systolic over 80 mmHg diastolic. According to the latest American Heart Association & American College of Cardiology guidelines, hypertension is defined as a blood pressure over 130 systolic, and 80 diastolic.
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