Blood Pressure Home > About High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure (hypertension) is a common condition affecting nearly one-third of all Americans. It is defined as having an average blood pressure reading of more than 140/90. In most cases, high blood pressure does not cause noticeable symptoms; the only way to know if you have the condition is to have your blood pressure checked. Risk factors include obesity, a lack of physical activity, and consuming too much sodium (salt).
If you have high blood pressure, you probably want to know what you can do about it. Some of the strategies used to lower blood pressure include lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, exercising more, and quitting smoking. In some cases, medications may be necessary.
(Click High Blood Pressure to learn more about this topic, including the different types of high blood pressure, possible complications of leaving the condition untreated, and more.)
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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