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Senior couple

What Is High Blood Pressure, Or Hypertension?

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against blood vessel walls. It’s measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure. It is sometimes referred to as “the silent killer” because people often don’t know they have it.

It is normal for blood pressure to fluctuate throughout the day, but it can cause problems if it stays elevated for too long.

Wondering if you could have high blood pressure?

Get evaluated by one of our cardiologists. We have offices in Burlington, Ocean and Atlantic counties.

Senior woman taking blood pressure

Risk Factors

Common risk factors for high blood pressure include:

  • Advancing age
  • Race
  • Family history
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Inactivity or sedentary lifestyle
  • Using tobacco
  • Unhealthy diet (high sodium, low potassium, too much alcohol)
  • High cholesterol
  • Stress

Signs & Symptoms

Most of the time, there are no symptoms associated with high blood pressure. For many, the condition is found when they visit their physician. Because there are no symptoms, people can develop heart disease and kidney problems without even knowing they have high blood pressure.

Malignant hypertension is a dangerous form of very high blood pressure. Symptoms may include:

  • Severe headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Vision changes
  • Nosebleeds

Blood Pressure Stages

Blood Pressure Category
mm Hg (upper #)
mm Hg (upper #)
And/Or Diastolic
mm Hg (lower #)
Normal less than 120 and less than 80
Elevated 120-129 and less than 80
High Blood Pressure(Hypertension) Stage 1 130-139 or 80-89
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Stage 2 140 or higher or 90 or higher
Hypertensive Crisis (Seek Emergency Care) higher than 180 and/or higher than 120


Diagnosing high blood pressure early can help prevent heart disease, stroke, eye problems, and chronic kidney disease.

A Deborah physician will measure a patient’s blood pressure many times before diagnosing hypertension. It is normal for blood pressure to be different based on the time of day which is why routine testing is important for an accurate diagnosis.

All adult patients should have their blood pressure checked at least once a year by a physician, and more often if they have a history of high blood pressure or other risk factors.

Check Your BP Between Appointments at a Deborah Blood Pressure Kiosk

Cherry Hill, NJ 
JCC Katz Center
1301 Springdale Rd, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
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Hamilton Township, NJ
Hamilton Area YMCA
1315 Whitehorse Mercerville Rd, Hamilton Township, NJ 08619
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Moorestown, NJ
Moorestown Mall
400 NJ-38, Moorestown, NJ 08057
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Mt. Laurel, NJ
Mt. Laurel YMCA
59 Centerton Rd, Mt Laurel Township, NJ 08054
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Toms River, NJ
Ocean County Mall
1201 Hooper Ave, Toms River, NJ 08753
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Terms & Conditions

By participating in this quiz, or screening or health assessment, I recognize and accept all risks associated with it. I understand that the program will only screen for certain risk factors and does not constitute a complete physical exam. For the diagnosis of a medical problem, I must see a physician for a complete medical exam. I release Deborah Heart and Lung Center and any other organization(s) involved in this screening, and their employees and agents, from all liabilities, medical claims or expenses which may arise from my participation. Thank you for investing in your health by participating today.