Health Glossary - For Everyone

Blood pressure
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What is blood pressure?

Blood pressure is the force that the blood exerts against the walls of arteries. The heart beats 60-70 beats per minute and each time it beats, it pumps blood into the arteries, which is when the blood pressure is at its highest and it rests between heart beats, when blood pressure is at its lowest.

Blood pressure is recorded as two numbers

Blood pressure measurement is written as one number above or before the other, with the systolic number on top and the diastolic number on the bottom. For example, a blood pressure measurement of 120/80 mmHg (millimeters of mercury) is expressed verbally as "120 over 80."


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Important blood pressure facts

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More about blood pressure

Measuring blood pressure is vitally important as high blood pressure does not often have any symptoms until it is too late and the person has a heart attack or stroke.

Blood pressure measurements for adults (mmHg):

Blood Pressure Measure Systolic Diastolic
Normal < 120 < 80
Pre-hypertensive 120-139 80-89
High Blood Pressure Measure Systolic Diastolic
Stage 1 140-159 90-99
Stage 2 > 160 > 100


The table above shows the different blood pressure measurement for adults over 18 years of age.


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Last reviewed: 14 January 2007 || Last updated: 21 August 2007


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More information

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NOTE: Mega doses of any type of vitamin, mineral, amino acid or herbal supplement cannot cure illnesses and in fact can be very dangerous and produce toxic side effects and interfere with medicine you are taking. Always ensure you consult your doctor before taking any type of complementary supplements.
Disclaimer: This guide is not intended to be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. For any treatment or diagnosis of illness, please see your doctor.


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