Controlling Cholesterol For Dummies, 2nd Edition
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Having high blood pressure, or hypertension, causes your heart to work harder than normal to pump blood. Get a blood pressure test and look at your numbers to see if you’re at risk for health problems related to high blood pressure.

Blood Pressure Category Systolic (1st Number) Diastolic (2nd Number)
Normal less than 120* less than 80*
Prehypertension 120–139 80–89
High
Stage 1 140–159 90–99
Stage 2 160 or higher 100 or higher

*All figures measured in mm/Hg (millimeters/mercury). Source: The American Heart Association.

About This Article

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Carol Ann Rinzler has written more than 20 books on health and nutrition. Martin W. Graf, MD, has been a doctor of internal medicine for over 30 years.

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