Blood Pressure Basics

Basic Anatomy of the Heart
Located almost in the center of the chest, the adult human heart is about the size of two fists held side-by-side.
What Those Blood Pressure Numbers Mean
The two blood pressure numbers indicate how much pressure builds up in the arteries as the heart beats and between beats.
High Blood Pressure/Hypertension
High blood pressure, or hypertension, increases the risk for coronary heart disease (heart attack) and stroke (brain attack).
The Lowdown on High Blood Pressure
If you have high blood pressure, you need to know, so you can control it. If you don't, you increase your risk for serious illness.
Understanding Prehypertension
Prehypertension is a new term that alerts people to the risk of developing chronic high blood pressure if they don’t take timely steps to improve their lifestyle habits.
Heed the Warning of Prehypertension
In many cases, the progression to high blood pressure occurs within four years of being diagnosed with prehypertension.
Hypertension: Children Can Have It, Too
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, isn't limited to those 18 and older.
The Lowdown on Low Blood Pressure
Doctors often consider chronically low blood pressure too low only if it drops suddenly or causes noticeable symptoms.

Why Control Blood Pressure?

Stopping Blood Pressure Drugs Risks a Stroke
Medication to control high blood pressure only works if you take it.
All About Blood Pressure Medication
Several kinds of medicine are commonly prescribed for high blood pressure. Here are some of the main types.
How to Manage Prehypertension
Prehypertension is a new term that alerts people to the very real risk of developing chronic high blood pressure if they don't take timely steps to improve their lifestyle habits.

Checking Blood Pressure

Checking Your Blood Pressure at Home
Home blood pressure monitoring can be a good way for you and your doctor to learn how your blood pressure changes during the day.
Checking Your Own Blood Pressure
Did you know you can purchase your own blood pressure monitor and check the reading yourself at home?

Blood Pressure and Other Conditions

Heart Failure
Heart failure, also called congestive heart failure, is a condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood to meet the needs of the body's other organs.
Coronary Heart Disease
A person with coronary heart disease has an accumulation of fatty deposits in the coronary arteries. These deposits narrow the arteries and can decrease or block the flow of blood to the heart.
High Blood Pressure Can Damage Kidneys
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is the second leading cause of kidney disease in the United States, after diabetes.
Living With a Chronic Health Condition
Learning about your condition and doing your best to manage it can help you live a less fearful and more expansive life.
Types of Stroke
Strokes are classified as either ischemic or hemorrhagic. Ischemic strokes are caused by blockage of an artery. Hemorrhagic strokes are caused by bleeding in the brain.
Heart Attack
A heart attack occurs when the blood supply is cut off from the heart muscle, usually because of a blood clot. Without blood and oxygen, the muscle cells are damaged and die.
Risk Factors for Stroke
The most important controllable risk factor for stroke is controlling high blood pressure. Blood pressure of 140/90 or higher can damage the arteries that supply blood to the brain.