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Blood Pressure For Men

What do the blood pressure readings mean?


Updated May 16, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Blood pressure is the pressure of the circulating blood against the walls of the arteries, the veins, and the chambers of the heart. Blood pressure results from two forces. One created by the heart as it pumps blood into the arteries through the circulatory system. The other is the force of the arteries as they resist the blood flow.

Blood pressure, usually measured by an instrument called a sphygmomanometer is expressed in two figures.
a) on contraction- the systolic pressure
b) on relaxation- the diastolic pressure.

What is a healthy, normal blood pressure?
The blood pressure in the large artery of the heart, the aorta, and the other large arteries of a healthy adult is usually 120 mm Hg during the contraction of the heart (systole), and 80 mm Hg during relaxation of the heart (diastole). For adults, a normal reading can be anywhere from 120/70 to 140/90. Readings that are consistently 140/90 or above are considered high and would indicate the need for intervention.
A good guide for blood pressure readings are;
Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 High normal blood pressure is between 120/80 and 140/90. High blood pressure (hypertension) is 140/90 or above. Very high blood pressure (hypertension) is 180/110 or above.

Blood pressure changes to meet your body's various needs

  • It is normal for blood pressure readings to vary throughout the day

  • It is normal for blood pressure to increase during exercise and decreasing during sleep

  • High blood pressure usually does not give warning signs

  • You can have high blood pressure and feel perfectly well
  • Get your blood pressure checked regularly
    The only way to find out if your blood pressure is high is to have it checked regularly by a health professional, or, check it yourself. Blood pressure monitors are easy to use.

    If your blood pressure remains high it can lead to serious problems like a heart attack, stroke, heart failure or kidney disease. You are more likely to have a high blood pressure if you are:

  • overweight

  • smoke

  • have diabetes

  • high cholesterol

  • a family history

  • belong to certain ethnic groups

  • take little exercise
  • Hypertension, a high blood pressure is more common in people over the age of 50 years.

  • Video Link What Is Hypertension?
  • Video Link About The Challenge of High Blood Pressure
  • More Information About Blood Pressure

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