Understanding your high blood pressure

High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) is a very common health issue around the world that often has no symptoms but raises serious health risks.1



What is high blood pressure?

Blood pressure measures how strongly the blood pushes against your arteries. It is considered “high” if it measures 140/90 mmHg or more on two different days.1

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of high blood pressure (if they occur) can be mild or severe, including headaches, nosebleeds, and shortness of breath.1 Symptoms of severe high blood pressure include severe chest pain, severe headache with confusion and blurred vision, nausea and vomiting, severe anxiety, and seizures.2

Who does high blood pressure affect?

High blood pressure is very common,1 affecting men and women, young and old, people who are fit, people with other health problems, and many others.

1 billion

people are affected worldwide.1

Know the risks of high blood pressure.

If you have high blood pressure, your heart works harder, which can raise your risk of heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, and kidney failure.2,3 These risks can be very serious — especially if your high blood pressure is left untreated.

How does the body control blood pressure?

Your heart and blood vessels are involved in blood pressure control, as well as your kidneys.4 In some people, the nerves connected to the kidneys become excessively active and interrupt the natural process of control, leading to higher blood pressure.5

Illustration of a heart with blood vessels shown connecting through the kidneys in the body

Look beyond traditional treatments.

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Hypertension Fact Sheet. World Health Organization. Available at: Accessed July 21, 2023.


Whelton PK, Carey RM, Aronow WS, et al. 2017 ACC/AHA/AAPA/ABC/ACPM/AGS/APhA/ASH/ASPC/NMA/PCNA Guideline for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults: A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines. Hypertension. June 2018;71(6):e13–e115.


High blood pressure dangers: Hypertension's effects on your body. Mayo Clinic. Available at: Accessed July 21, 2023.


How High Blood Pressure Can Lead to Kidney Damage or Failure. American Heart Association. Available at: Accessed July 21, 2023.


Sata Y, Head GA, Denton K, May CN, Schlaich MP. Role of the sympathetic nervous system and its modulation in renal hypertension. Front Med. March 29, 2018;5:82.