Heart Model
Cardiovascular Pharmacology Concepts Richard E. Klabunde, PhD

Cardiovascular Physiology Concepts 3e textbook cover Cardiovascular Physiology Concepts, 3rd edition textbook, Published by Wolters Kluwer (2021)

CNormal and Abnormal Blood Pressure, Physiology, Pathophysiology and Treatment book cover Normal and Abnormal Blood Pressure, published by Richard E. Klabunde (2013)

Systemic Hypertension cont.

Hypertension Categories

Several leading physician organizations, including the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, published new guidelines in November 2017 for defining and treating hypertension. Based on large-scale clinical studies, the following definitions are now applied to adults:

Blood Pressure Categories in Adults (Current Guidelines)


Normal< 120and< 80
Elevated120 – 129and< 80
   Stage 1130 – 139or80 – 89
   Stage 2≥ 140or ≥ 9

It is important to note that a hypertensive state is defined as an abnormal elevation of either systolic or diastolic pressure. In past years, the diastolic value was emphasized in determining whether a person was hypertensive. However, elevations in systolic pressure ("systolic hypertension") are also associated with increased incidence of coronary and cerebrovascular disease (e.g., stroke). Therefore, we now recognize that both systolic and diastolic pressure values are important for assessing clinical states of hypertension.

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Causes of Hypertension

Revised 11/30/2023

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