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What is chronic hypertension?

Chronic hypertension is a condition where your blood pressure (BP) is usually higher than normal, over a long time. High blood pressure in adults is when the systolic blood pressure (SBP) is higher than 139 millimeters of mercury (mmHg). You may also have high blood pressure when your diastolic blood pressure (DBP) is higher than 89 mmHg. This is based on the average of two or more BP readings taken by your healthcare provider. These numbers are used for an adult who is not ill or on blood pressure medicine. Children and young adults with high BP readings may also have chronic hypertension. Making this diagnosis depends on their age, height, gender and medical condition.

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The heart works as a central pump to supply the body with blood. Each time the heart pumps, a large volume of blood is released and sent to all parts of the body. SBP is the measurement of the highest pressure in the blood vessel each time the heart pumps. DBP is the lowest pressure in the blood vessel when the heart rests between beats. Your BP is measured using an inflating cuff device called a sphygmomanometer. Blood pressure may be checked using your arm or leg while you are sitting or lying down.

 

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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.