Thursday, August 30, 2007

Blood Pressure Explained

Okay, I did some research while I was at the doctor's office. Them charts they have up in there are great things to help you figure things out. Such as what those numbers mean when you take your blood pressure.

The basic ranges for blood pressure are:

high BP = >140/90
healthy = <120/80

It is important to note that the reason these numbers are important is because Your risk of a heart attack doubles for every 20 points the systolic (top) number increases, and for every 10 point increase in the diastolic (bottom) number.

A blood pressure reading commonly looks like this:

120/80 mm Hg

The first number, systolic, is the pressure as your heart beats.
The second number, diastolic, is the pressure as your heart rests.
'mm Hg' refers to millimeters of mercury, which is the unit of measure for blood pressure readings.

Normal less than 120/80
prehypertension 120-139/80-89
hypertension 140 or higher / 90 or higher


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