High blood pressure is the force exerted by blood against the walls of arteries.


The force exerted by blood against arterial walls: when the heart contracts and the blood passes to the arteries, higher, systolic or maximum blood pressure is recorded; between one beat and the other the heart fills with blood and lower diastolic or minimum blood pressure is recorded. We talk about hypertension when there is a persistent increase in blood pressure.

In most cases, hypertension does not present any symptoms (‘silent killer’), which is why of about 15 million Italian hypertensive patients, only half are aware of it. It only rarely causes symptoms like headache, breathlessness, dizziness, chest pain, palpitations and nosebleeds.

Hypertension is one of the most significant risk factors for cardiovascular diseases; if the disease is not treated, it can cause damage to various organs and tissues including the heart, brain, eyes and kidneys. Arterial pressure is, therefore, regularly checked also in relation to other risk factors (cholesterolaemia, glycaemia, weight and smoking), and must be kept at desirable levels by adopting a healthy lifestyle and, when necessary, by taking specific drugs.


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