Understanding Your Blood Pressure Numbers
We all have heard the terms “blood pressure” or “hypertension” but many of us don’t fully understand this chronic condition. If you have hypertension your heart works harder than normal to circulate blood through your blood vessels.
Blood pressure is typically recorded as two numbers, written as a ratio (120/80). The first and higher of the two numbers is the systolic pressure, measuring the full pressure when the left ventricle of the heart pushes out blood through the arteries into the body. The lower of the two numbers is the diastolic pressure, measuring the pressure within the arteries when the ventricles are “at rest” before the next pulse of blood is pushed through.