Things you should know about using a blood pressure test

Blood pressure is one of the most important and most basic factors taken into consideration when checking the well being and functioning of an average adult and the elderly. As such any changes in it can lead to multiple disorders which can be highly troublesome or even fatal if they go unchecked. Hence, it has become an important factor to be looked at in the regular health check-ups. With all the technological advancements coming into play, it has become easier to measure blood pressure at our own convenience, in our very households. However, it is important to be able to assess these readings in order to have the basic knowledge and keep the blood pressure at a check.

The reading of blood pressure usually has the units of millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and has two numbers. The upper number or the first number seen is a measurement of the pressure in your arteries when the heart beats; it is known as systolic pressure. The lower number or the denominator seen is the measurement of pressure in the arteries between the two heart beats, called as diastolic pressure.

Blood pressure and its variations can fall into four common categories:

  • Normal blood pressure: When the range of blood pressure is around 120/80 mm Hg, the blood pressure is considered to be normal.
  • Pre-hypertension: When the numerator portion/ systolic pressure ranges from 120 to 139 mm Hg or when the diastolic pressure ranges from 90 to 99 mm Hg, the measurement falls under this category.
  • Stage 1 hypertension: When the systolic pressure/ numerator portion ranges from 140 to 159 mm Hg or the diastolic pressure/ denominator portion ranges from 90 to 99 mm Hg, the measurement falls under the stage 1 category.
  • Stage 2 Hypertension: This is a more severe form of hypertension. In this form, the systolic pressure/ numerator portion is either 160 mm Hg or higher or a diastolic pressure of 100 mm Hg or higher.

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