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
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
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
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