What Is High Blood Pressure?

Your blood pressure is recorded in two ways; how much force the blood is pumped from the heart and how much resistance the blood vessels give to the speed of your blood flow. In other words, how controlled your blood flow is from your heart around the rest of your body. 

High blood pressure is a long term condition known as hypertension. It affects at least 25% of adults within the UK. In many cases, hypertension does not produce symptoms so it's common to have it without realising. 

How is high blood pressure measured? 

Getting your blood pressure checked is a quick and easy task. You can get this done by a GP, nurse or pharmacist. It involves having a sleeve-like apparatus fastened to your arm which is then tightened so that the person administering the test can measure the reading on the attached monitor. 

There are two types of numbers that make up your recording. One is called systolic pressure. This makes up the higher number within your reading and makes up the force of your blood pumping from the heart. The lower number is called the diastolic pressure and refers to the level of resistance within the blood vessels. Both these numbers are measured in millimetres of mercury. 

A healthy level of blood pressure will read between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg. High blood pressure is diagnosed at a minimum of 140/90mmHg. If your blood pressure is lower than 140/90mmHg or higher than 120/80mmHg you are at risk of high blood pressure. 

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