Categories for Blood Pressure Levels in Adults (measured in millimeters of mercury, or mmHg)

The ranges in the table apply to most adults (aged 18 and older) who don't have short-term serious illnesses.

What is hypertension?

Hypertension is commonly called High Blood Pressure. It is defined as a condition in which the pressure on the arteries remains high for a long amount of time.

"Blood pressure" is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. If this pressure rises and stays high over time, it can damage the body in many ways.

High blood pressure or Hypertension is a serious condition that can lead to coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, and other health problems. A person’s blood pressure is usually expressed in terms of the systolic pressure over diastolic pressure and is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg), for example 140/90.

Blood pressure is lower during sleep and highest when awake. In high blood pressure, the heart has to pump the blood harder, and this could lead to organ damage, heart attack and other illnesses.

What causes hypertension?

The exact reason for high blood pressure is unknown. But some widely seen causes of hypertension are as follows :

• Having unhealthy eating habits

• Smoking

• Drinking

• Stressful lifestyle

• Overweight

• Old age