Blood pressure is simply the force of blood pushing against the walls of arteries as the heart pumps blood or is at rest.
A blood pressure reading includes two measurements:
When reporting blood pressure readings, healthcare providers place the systolic pressure number on top and the diastolic pressure below. For example, “120 over 80” means your systolic pressure (your heart pumping) is 120, and your diastolic pressure (your heart at rest between pumps) is 80.1
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This material is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as medical advice or used in place of consulting a licensed professional.
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1 “Understanding Blood Pressure Readings,” American Heart Association, last accessed September 27, 2017, http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/KnowYourNumbers/Understanding-Blood-Pressure-Readings_UCM_301764_Article.jsp#.WcwGhk2WyM8..