chapter  61
Pages 9

DEFINITION It has been customary to define hypertension as a sustained blood pressure in millimeters of mercury above some upper limit of normal. Traditionally, the limits used in the United States have been 139 and 89, for systolic and diastolic blood pressures, respectively. The Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of Hypertension, in its seventh report, ( JNC-7), recognized the continuous and consistent relationship (independent of other risk factors) between blood pressures that exceed 119/79 and cardiovascular events. Hence, blood pressures above this level carry sufficient risk for complications to no longer be considered normal.