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High Blood Pressure

Mar 17, 2002 369 Words

The definition of High blood pressure is a measurement of the force

applied against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood through the

body. The pressure is determined by the force and amount of blood pumped

and the size and flexibility of the arteries. The blood pressure is continually

changing depending on activity, temperature, diet, emotional state, posture,

physical state, and drugs.

The blood pressure is ussually taken while the person is seated with the

arm resting on a table and slightly bent so that the arm is at the same level as

the heart.

Blood pressure readings ate ussually given as two numbers: 110 over

70. The first number is called the systolic blood pressure reading and

represents the maximum pressure exerted when the heart contracts. The

second number is called the diastolic blood pressure reading and it represents

the pressure in the arteries when the heart is at rest.

The test can be done at any time. It is usually done after resting at least

5 minutes.

The only thing you can feel during the test is the pressure of the cuff on the

arm. There is no risk to taking the test. Most people cannot sense if their

blood pressure is high because ther are usually no symptoms. High blood

pressure increases the risk of heart failure, heart attack, stroke, and kidney

failure. For people who have high blood pressure, taking the test is a way of

monitoring the effectivness of medications and dietary modifications on the

blood pressure.

Generally, the systolic pressure is approximately 120 and the diastolic

pressure is approximately 70 to 80.

Abnormal resusts are mild hypertension were diastolic pressure is 90 to

104. Significant hypertension is when systolic pressure is above 200 or

diastolic pressure is above 100. Hypotension is when blood pressure is below


Consult the health care provider if the measurements are consistently

high or low or if symptoms are present at the time as the
high or low reading.

Repeated measurements are important for screening or monitoring. A

single high measurement does not necessarily mean hypertension. A single

normal measurement does not necessarily mean that high blood pressure is

not present.

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