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Is hypertension the same as high blood pressure?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Hypertension and high blood pressure are one in the same. When high blood pressure has no known cause such as genetics or obesity, it may be called idiopathic hypertension, essential hypertension or primary hypertension.

When some other condition or treatment causes high blood pressure, it is caused secondary hypertension. Secondary hypertension may be the result of an endocrine disorder or medications taken for another health concern.

Another important type of hypertension is isolated systolic hypertension. In this condition, which is more common in elderly adults, the systolic blood pressure reading is elevated or high. Still, isolated systolic hypertension is very serious and can result in heart attack, stroke, heart failure, kidney failure and other serious illnesses. 

Deb Cordes
Deb Cordes on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Specialist

Hypertension and high blood pressure mean the same thing.Your blood pressure is to high. If you have high blood pressure you should seek treatment by your physician to reduce your blood pressure into a more acceptable range.

According to the American Heart Association the blood pressure categories are as follows:

Normal or optimal blood pressure is less than 120/80.

Pre-hypertension ranges from 120/80-139/89.

High Blood Pressure Stage 1 is 140/90 to 159/99.

High blood pressure Stage 2 is 160/100 or higher.

Hypertensive or high blood pressure "crisis" is higher then 180/110.

Dr. Kevin J. Soden, MD
Family Practitioner

Yes, they are two interchangeable terms. Sometimes, healthcare providers use complicated terms (hypertension) to explain medical problems when more simple words can help make a concept more understandable. Because high blood pressure indicates the pressure required to pump around a person's vascular system, high blood pressure may help in the understanding of the concept. Regardless of the term used, hypertension is a concern and is definitely a risk factor for heart attacks and strokes. The key is to get your blood pressure checked regularly to determine if you have a problem.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.