What is Blood Pressure?

What is Blood Pressure?

What is blood pressure? Blood pressure is measured by two numbers: The first number, called systolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in the arteries when the heartbeats.

How is the arterial pressure measured?

BP is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and is given in 2 figures:

  • Systolic pressure: the pressure when the heart pushes the blood
  • Diastolic pressure: the pressure when the heart rests between beats


  • The device used to measure BP is a sphygmomanometer, which consists of a rubber cuff, the cuff that is inflated by hand or with a mechanical pump.
  • Once the bracelet is sufficiently inflated to stop the pulse, a reliable source reading is taken, either electronically or on an analog dial.
  • The reading is expressed in terms of the pressure that is needed to move the mercury around a tube against gravity. This is why the pressure is measured using the unit of millimeters of mercury, abbreviated to mm Hg.

As a general guide:

  • The ideal BP is considered between 90/60 mmHg and 120/80 mmHg
  • HBP is considered to be 140/90 mmHg or more
  • LBP is considered to be 90/60 mmHg or less

First, let’s define HBP

High blood pressure (HBP or hypertension) is when blood pressure, the force of blood that pushes against the walls of blood vessels, is too high.

How blood pressure and circulatory system work

To survive and function properly, your tissues and organs need the oxygenated blood that your circulatory system carries throughout the body. When the heartbeats, it creates pressure that pushes the blood through a network of tube-shaped blood vessels, including arteries, veins, and capillaries. This pressure, the BP, is the result of two forces: the first force (systolic pressure) occurs when blood leaves the heart to the arteries that are part of the circulatory system. The second force (diastolic pressure) is created when the heart rests between beats. (These two forces are represented by numbers in a BP reading.)

Hypertension is a “silent killer.”

You may not feel that something is wrong, but HBP could be causing silent damage that can threaten your health. The best prevention is to know their numbers and make important changes to prevent and control high blood pressure (HBP).

Which number is more important?

In general, more attention is given to systolic BP (the first number) as an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease for people over 50. In most people, systolic BP steadily increases with age due to the increasing stiffness of the large arteries. long-term plaque buildup and a higher incidence of heart and vascular diseases.

However, an elevated systolic or diastolic BP reading can be used to make a diagnosis of HBP. According to recent studies, the risk of death from ischemic heart disease and stroke is doubled with each systolic increase of 20 mm Hg or diastolic increase of 10 mm Hg among people aged 40 to 89 years.

Why is blood pressure measured in mm Hg?

The abbreviation mm Hg means millimeters of mercury. Mercury was used in the first accurate pressure meters and is still used in medicine today as the standard unit of measure for pressure.

Guidelines for doctors list the following measures that patients can take to help maintain healthy BP:

  • Maintain healthy body weight.
  • Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products.
  • Reduce the consumption of sodium or salt in the diet.
  • Exercise regularly, such as brisk walking, for at least 30 minutes a day, most days of the week.
  • Moderate alcohol consumption Men should drink less than two alcoholic drinks per day for men. Women and men with a lower body weight should consume a maximum of one alcoholic drink per day.

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