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Blood Pressure

Overview

Blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Each time your heart beats, it pumps out blood into the arteries. Your blood pressure is highest when your heart beats, pumping the blood. This is called systolic pressure. Between beats, your blood pressure falls. This is the diastolic pressure.

Your blood pressure reading uses these two numbers, the systolic and diastolic pressures. Usually they are written one above or before the other. A reading of

  • 120/80 or lower is normal blood pressure
  • 140/90 or higher is high blood pressure, or hypertension
  • Between 120 and 139 for the top number, or between 80 and 89 for the bottom number is prehypertension

High blood pressure usually has no symptoms, but it can cause serious problems such as stroke, heart failure, heart attack and kidney failure. You can control high blood pressure through healthy lifestyle habits and taking medicines, if needed.

Source: MedlinePlus

Note: This topic was prepared to help consumers find reliable health resources on the web. This site is not responsible for the information on other sites. The information here — and on all websites — is not intended to be a substitute for care given to you by a health professional.

Recommended Reading

High Blood Pressure, American Heart Association
General information on blood pressure from the national nonprofit health organization focusing on cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

High Blood Pressure, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
An overview of blood pressure from the national agency for diseases of the heart, blood vessels and lungs.

Local Resources

Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Testing, Health District
Dates/locations for local blood pressure checks and cholesterol testing from the Health District of Northern Larimer County.

Healthy Hearts, UCHealth
Healthy Hearts is an outreach heart-health screening and preventive education program offered by University of Colorado Health to adults and to elementary and high school students in northern Colorado.

Poudre River Public Library District
Search the library collection for books about high blood pressure and heart disease, or use the library's health, sciences and technology databases.

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