Blood pressure (BP) is the force of your blood which is applied against the walls of your arteries. Each time our heart beats, it pumps the blood into the arteries (blood vessels). Your blood pressure is highest when our heart beats and pumping the blood through the blood vessels. This is called systolic pressure. Between the beats (when our heart is at rest) our blood pressure falls. This is called diastolic pressure. Blood pressure is expressed in terms of the systolic pressure over diastolic pressure.
Normal blood pressure in an adult is approximately 120 millimetres of mercury systolic pressure, and 80 millimetres of mercury diastolic pressure , which is abbreviated as “120/80 mmHg”.
High blood pressure is when our blood pressure is persistently higher than normal Blood pressure range. A blood pressure reading under 120/80 mmHg is considered optimal. Readings over 120/80 mmHg and up to 139/89mmHg are in the normal to high normal range. Blood pressure that remains higher over a long time period is one of the main risk factors for heart diseases.
Blood pressure that is lower than normal range is called hypotension and blood pressure that is higher than normal normal range is called hypertension. Both have many causes. Long-term hypertension is a risk factor for many diseases,common among them are heart disease, stroke and kidney failure.
If you have high blood pressure, always try to talk to your doctor about the best way to control it.
Causes of hypertension
The exact causes of high blood pressure are generally not so clear. Your blood pressure may be strongly influenced by:
- Family history
- Eating patterns, including salty foods
- How much physical activity you do.
- Height and weight chart for men and women
- Diabetes -Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes