Question: What is the difference between high blood pressure and hypertension, and what do blood pressure numbers mean?
Answer: Well, hypertension and high blood pressure are two terms that are almost used interchangeably. What you have is a number above which you have a defined diagnosis -- at least that's how we tend to do this in medicine. And the numbers actually mean risk -- the higher the blood pressure, the greater the risk -- and the interesting thing is the risk begins to occur even at relatively normal blood pressure readings. So the higher you go, the worse off you're going to be, from a blood pressure point of view.