Blood pressure reading definition

A measurement of the amount of force against your arteries when your heart contracts and when your heart relaxes.

It consists of two numbers, generally written one above or before the other and measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). The first or top number is your systolic blood pressure; the second or bottom number is your diastolic blood pressure.

A sample blood pressure reading is 120/80 mmHg and is expressed as “120 over 80”.

Related terms: hypertension, prehypertension,

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