Blood Pressure

blood pressure, diastolic, systolic -

Blood Pressure

Blood pressure represents the force (pressure) exerted by blood against the arterial walls during a cardiac cycle (heart beat) which consists of heart muscle contraction (systole) and heart muscle relaxation (diastole).

Systolic blood pressure, the higher of the two pressure measurements, occurs as the heart muscles contract pumping blood into the aorta. Heart muscles then relax allowing the heart to refill with blood and the lowest pressure reached represents the diastolic blood pressure.

Normal systolic blood pressure in an adult varies between 110 and 140 mm Hg, and diastolic pressure varies between 60 and 90 mm Hg.

The following figures is the classification of blood pressure levels. (Note: "mm Hg" means millimeters of mercury)

Systolic(mm Hg)       Diastolic(mm Hg)       Classification     

<130                            <35                             Normal

130-139                       85-89                          High Normal

140-159                       90-99                          Hypertension (stage 1)

160-179                       100-109                      Moderate Hypertension (stage 2)

>180                             >110                           Severe Hypertension (stage 3)