Normal blood pressure is an important indicator of the state of health. The expression “120 to 80” most people have heard before at the doctor. But many people can not properly classify the blood pressure values and are irritated by the combination of numbers. Here you get an overview that answers the most important questions: what do systolic and diastolic values mean? When is blood pressure normal and is there increased blood pressure? What are the optimal blood pressure values for women, men and children? Everything in a big overview including clear tables.
What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the force with which the blood presses against the vascular walls of the arteries. The blood is pumped by the heart through the arteries, and as a result, pressure is applied to the vascular walls accordingly. If blood pressure is elevated, it is a risk factor for diseases of the cardiovascular system and is one of the leading causes of death. That is why the blood pressure values are checked at almost every visit to the doctor.
The blood pressure values always consist of two numbers (e.g. 120/80 mmHg):
systolic value (first or upper value)
diastolic value (second or lower value)
Both values are given in the unit mmHg (millimeter mercury column).
The systolic value indicates what the blood pressure is when the blood is pumped from the heart into the arteries. By the systolic value, the doctor can read how the health of the heart muscle and vascular system is. During the pumping phase, the heart muscle contracts (systole), as a result of which the pressure is higher.
The diastolic value shows the blood pressure during the relaxation phase of the heart between the heartbeats. In this phase, the chambers of the heart widen so that blood flows in (diastole), as a result of which the blood pressure is lower. Therefore, it is always necessary to measure both the systolic and the diastolic value.
The blood pressure values can be divided into several categories. The following are considered normal blood pressure values:
Optimal blood pressure – the systolic value is less than 120 mmHg, and the diastolic value is less than 80 mmHg
Normal blood pressure – between 120-129 mmHg / 80-84 mmHg
High-normal blood pressure – maximum 139 mmHg / maximum 89 mmHg
If the blood pressure values are above the normal values, it is called hypertension (hypertension). Here the values are 140 mmHg / 90 mmHg or higher
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