Hypertension and heart disease are global problems. The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that the growth of the processed food industry has impacted the amount of salt consumed, and that this plays a role in hypertension.
Some types of hypertension can be managed through lifestyle and dietary choices, such as engaging in physical activity, reducing alcohol and tobacco use, and avoiding a high-sodium diet.
What is hypertension?
Blood pressure is the force exerted by the blood against the walls of the blood vessels.
How great the pressure is depends on the work being done by the heart and the resistance of the blood vessels.
Medical guidelines define hypertension as a blood pressure higher than 140 over 90 millimeters of mercury (mmHg).
The systolic reading of 140 mmHg refers to the pressure as the heart pumps blood around the body. The diastolic reading of 90 mmHg refers to the pressure as the heart relaxes and refills with blood.