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Hypertension occurs when the force of blood against the artery walls is consistently too high. Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and is recorded as two numbers: systolic (pressure during heartbeats) over diastolic (pressure between heartbeats). A normal reading is around 120/80 mmHg. Hypertension is diagnosed when readings consistently exceed 130/80 mmHg.

Causes of Hypertension

Several factors can contribute to the development of hypertension, including:

  1. Genetics: Family history plays a significant role. If your parents or close relatives have hypertension, you are more likely to develop it.
  2. Lifestyle: Unhealthy habits such as a poor diet, lack of physical activity, and smoking can increase blood pressure.
  3. Age: The risk of hypertension increases with age as blood vessels lose their elasticity.
  4. Weight: Being overweight or obese forces the heart to work harder, raising blood pressure.
  5. Stress: Chronic stress can contribute to hypertension by triggering unhealthy coping mechanisms like overeating or smoking.
  6. Medical Conditions: Certain conditions, such as diabetes and kidney disease, can lead to hypertension.

Symptoms of Hypertension

Hypertension is often called the “silent killer” because it typically has no noticeable symptoms until it reaches a severe or life-threatening stage. However, some people may experience:

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