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|Understanding the numbers
Systolic This is the higher number at the top of your monitor.
It is a measure of the pressure in the arteries when the heart is pumping.
Diastolic This is the lower number which is usually displayed below the systolic blood pressure as in the ilustration above.
The diastolic blood pressure measure the pressure in the arteries when the heart is not pumping.
Pulse This shows the rate at which the heart pumps per minute.
Which number is more important?
Both systolic and diastolic blood pressure are important
|What is a normal blood pressure?
This is a difficult question to answer simply.
It is best to speak to your doctor or nurse about this since it depends on many factors, for example whether the readings are taken in surgery or at home.
Readings below 40 diastolic and above 200 systolic may be errors. Please recheck.
Genuine readings in these abnormal ranges need prompt advice, especially if they are associated with symptoms.
The further away from the normal range [say 140 systolic, and 60 diastolic] you are, the quicker the need to get advice, particularly if there are symptoms.
Readings which are widely different to your normal readings, especially if associated with symptoms, will need advice as well.
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