What is high blood pressure and what is systolic and diastolic?
So you got diagnosed with high blood pressure (aka hypertension), but what does it mean?
Blood is carried from the heart to all parts of the body in blood vessels. Each time the heart beats, it pumps blood into the vessels.
Hypertension, also known as high or raised blood pressure, is a condition in which the blood vessels have persistently raised pressure. The higher the pressure in blood vessels the harder the heart has to work in order to pump blood.
If left uncontrolled, hypertension can lead to a heart diseases such as an enlargement of the heart, heart failure, angina pectoris and myocardial infarction but also other diseases such as kidney disease, eye diseases/blindness and dementia.
Systolic blood pressure (the high number) is the pressure in the arteries(the blood vessels) when the heart pushes blood out into your body.
Diastolic blood pressure (the low number) is the pressure in the arteries when the heart relaxes between two beats.
Blood pressure is always combined as the systolic blood pressure over diastolic blood pressure. If the systolic blood pressure is 120 and the diastolic blood pressure is 70 this is reported as (120/70).