Monday, April 16, 2018
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KNOW HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE READINGS

high blood pressure readings

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How to understand high blood pressure readings – Part 5 of 12

Two numbers create a blood pressure reading.

Systolic pressure: This is the first number. It indicates the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats and pumps out blood.

Diastolic pressure: This is the second number. It’s the reading of the pressure in your arteries between beats of your heart.

Four categories define blood pressure readings for adults:

  • Healthy: A healthy blood pressure reading is 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).

  • Prehypertension: The systolic number is between 120 and 139 mm Hg, or the diastolic number is between 80 and 89 mm Hg. Doctors may not treat prehypertension with medication. Instead, your doctor may encourage lifestyle changes to help lower your numbers.

  • Stage 1 hypertension: The systolic number is between 140 and 159 mm Hg, or the diastolic number is between 90 and 99 mm Hg.

  • Stage 2 hypertension: This stage of hypertension is severe and dangerous. A systolic number over 160 mm Hg or a diastolic number over 100 mm Hg is a sign of an advanced stage of hypertension.

A blood pressure reading is taken with a pressure cuff. For an accurate reading, it’s important you have a cuff that fits. An ill-fitting cuff may deliver inaccurate readings. Blood pressure readings may be different for children and teenagers. Ask your child’s doctor for healthy ranges if you’re monitoring your child’s blood pressure.

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