It is the measure of pressure exerted on walls of blood vessels when heart contracts and relaxes. As heart contracts, it pushes blood through the blood vessels under high pressure for circulation in the body. Thus, the pressure exerted is known as systolic blood pressure. Whereas, diastolic blood pressure is the pressure exerted by blood on the walls of blood vessels when heart relaxes in between two contractions. Blood pressure is recorded in fraction, i.e. p/q form, in which numerator (p) and denominator (q) represents systolic and diastolic blood pressure respectively. Blood pressure is an excellent indicator of healthy heart. Normal and abnormal measurements of blood pressure are recorded as follows:
Normal: Blood pressure below 120mm of Hg (systolic) and below 80mm of Hg (diastolic).
Pre-hypertension (At risk of High blood pressure): Blood pressure 120-139mm of Hg (systolic) and 80-89mm of Hg (diastolic).
Hypertension: Blood pressure 140mm of Hg or higher (systolic) and 90mm of Hg or higher (diastolic).
Blood pressure recording: People with hypertension are advised to get their blood pressure checked at least thrice a week. It can be checked by an individual himself using digital blood pressure monitoring device. Validated monitor should be used to minimize error. To begin with, locate pulse present at bend of elbow region on the inner side using index finger. Once pulse is located place cuff three inches above the site of pulse and put on the monitor. Within few seconds monitor displays the blood pressure as well as heart rate. Individual should be well rested before assessing blood pressure as a state of stress or anxiety may give falsely elevated readings. Persistent high blood pressure requires prompt management.