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Guide: blood pressure measurement

By definition, blood pressure is the pressure exerted by the blood circulating in the arteries of the human body. Your blood pressure measurement is also closely linked to the heartbeat rate and the elasticity of the arterial walls where the blood circulates. Take a look at the guide below to understand what it means for your health and well-being.

Understanding blood pressure

The blood pressure is one of the main vital signs of the body used to identify its functions. It provides a clue to the general health of the person, existence of possible diseases, response to treatments and recovery. Hence, it is important to take your blood pressure measurement regularly to keep tabs on your overall health.

  • What the numbers mean

Blood pressure can be taken by using a sphygmomanometer. Nowadays, digital blood pressure recorders are also readily available and easy to use. When the blood pressure is taken, two values are recorded. The upper value (systole) on the machine or device indicates the highest pressure in the arteries when the heart contracts. On the other hand, the lower value (diastole) reflects the lowest pressure in the arteries just before the heart begins to contract again. In effect, blood pressure is systolic/diastolic pressure. The following range is considered normal blood pressure:

90/60 to 140/90

Values exceeding this range may signal the existence of a disease or medical problem. The risk of the existence of a medical condition is there if the blood pressure is high. The exception to this are the elderly who commonly have higher systolic pressure, above 140 mm Hg or lower diastolic pressure, below 90 mm Hg. Older people who have these readings are known to suffer from isolated systolic hypertension.

Blood pressure classification

Below is a table on blood pressure measurement results in adults that gives an indication if you are prone to hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases:

Category Systolic Diastolic

Normal blood pressure below130 below 85

High normal blood pressure 130-139 85-89

Stage1 (mild) hypertension 140-159 90-99

Stage 2 (moderate) 160-179 100-109

hypertension

Stage 3 (severe) ≥ to 180 ≥ to 110

hypertension

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