Blood pressure

Blood pressure is the physiological measurement of the fluid pressure of the blood inside the blood vessels. Blood pressure disorders include low blood pressure (hypotension), and high blood pressure (hypertension; chronic hypertension). Blood pressure is affected by factors such as heart health, blood volume (e.g. hypovolemia) and artery narrowing (i.e. atherosclerosis / atherosis). Read more about: Low Blood Pressure, High Blood Pressure

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What Is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of arteries. When the doctor measures your blood pressure, the results are given in two numbers. The first number, called systolic blood pressure, is the pressure caused by your heart contracting and pushing out blood. The second number, called diastolic blood pressure, is the pressure when your heart relaxes and fills with blood. Your blood pressure reading is usually given as the systolic blood pressure number over the diastolic blood pressure number, such as 138/72.

Source: NIA (NIH)1

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blood pressure: The force exerted by the blood on the walls of the arteries as it is pumped around the body by the heart. It is written, for example, as 134/70 mmHg, where the upper number is the systolic pressure (the maximum force against the arteries as the heart muscle contracts to pump the blood out) and the lower number is the diastolic pressure (the minimum force against the arteries as the heart relaxes and fills again with blood). Levels of blood pressure can vary greatly from person to person and from moment to moment in the same person. See also high blood pressure/hypertension.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare2

Introduction: Blood pressure

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of arteries as the heart pumps out blood. When this pressure rises—a condition called high blood pressure, or hypertension—it can damage the body in many ways over time. High blood pressure has been linked to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and other health problems.

There are 2 blood pressure numbers, and they’re usually written with one above or before the other. Systolic, the first, is the pressure when the heart beats, pumping blood through the arteries. Diastolic is the pressure when the heart is at rest between beats. The numbers 120/80 mmHg are the ones you should aim to keep your blood pressure below.

Source: NIH News in Health (NIH)3

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Blood Pressure: Pressure of the Blood on the Arteries and other Blood Vessels.4

Types

Types may include:5

Types of Blood Pressure:

  • Diastolic Pressure
  • Estimated Mean Atrial Pressure
  • Left Atrial Pressure
  • Mean Arterial Pressure
  • Newborn Blood Pressure
  • Pulmonary Artery Pressure
  • Systolic Pressure

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References

  1. Source: NIA (NIH): nia.nih.gov/ health/ high-blood-pressure
  2. Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare: aihw.gov.au/ reports-statistics/ health-welfare-overview/ australias-health/ glossary
  3. Source: NIH News in Health (NIH): newsinhealth.nih.gov/ 2010/ March/ feature1.htm
  4. Source: MeSH (U.S. National Library of Medicine)
  5. Source: NCI Thesaurus
  6. Source: CDC DHDSP: cdc.gov/ dhdsp/ data_statistics/ fact_sheets/ fs_bloodpressure.htm

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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.