Blood Pressure – The Basic Facts

What is Blood Pressure?

Blood Pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of the arteries. Blood Pressure is recorded as two numbers. For example 120/80.The larger number indicates the pressure in the arteries as the heart squeezes out blood during each beat. It is called the Systolic Blood Pressure. The lower number indicates the pressure as the heart relaxes before the next beat. It is called the Diastolic Blood Pressure. Blood does not circulate in an even stream around the body, but travels in a constant series of spurts. Therefore the pressure peaks in the blood vessels just after a heart beat and then ebbs until the next one. This is a continuous process.

What is Normal Blood Pressure?

There are no hard and fast figures which represent a normal Blood Pressure range. However, it is usually agreed that somewhere between 110/70 and 125/80 is considered to be an average Blood Pressure for a grown person. Though someone with naturally low Blood Pressure may be closer to a range of 100/60. A Blood Pressure of 140/90 is considered to be high, although as a person gets older, this falls into the normal range for people.

What Does High Blood Pressure Do To the Body?

High Blood Pressure causes the heart to work harder, putting a person at increased risk for heart attack, stroke, heart failure, kidney and eye problems. A Blood Pressure above 140/90 may be considered to be on the high side for a young adult, but a Blood Pressure higher than 180/110 is too high and dangerous. There are no symptoms to identify High Blood Pressure and therefore many people are unaware that they have it. High Blood Pressure usually does not give warning signs.