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Diastolic Pressure: What's Ideal for Normal Blood Pressure

By    |   Monday, 20 Jun 2016 02:26 PM

Blood pressure readings include two important numbers: a systolic reading and a diastolic reading. Maintaining your health and managing blood pressure is easier when you understand the meaning of each of these numbers.

Blood pressure is measured using an arm cuff that is attached to a small pressure gauge called a sphygmomanometer. While your healthcare practitioner is testing blood pressure, she will also use a stethoscope so she can listen to the flow of blood through the arteries.

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Blood pressure measurements are expressed with two numbers written like a fraction. For example, if your measurement is 120/80, your doctor would say “120 over 80.” The top number is the systolic reading, and the bottom number is called the diastolic measurement.

The American Heart Association explains that systolic pressure is the amount of pressure inside the arteries during contraction of the heart muscle when it is pumping blood. The diastolic number represents the amount of pressure in the arteries when the heart muscle is resting and refilling with blood in preparation for the next beat.

During a blood pressure test, the sphygmomanometer is inflated to a pressure higher than your systolic reading, and as the cuff deflates, the practitioner will hear a whooshing sound in the stethoscope as blood rushes through the artery. This is the systolic pressure. Once this sound subsides, the heart muscle is at rest indicating the diastolic phase. Blood pressure is measured in milligrams of mercury (mm Hg).

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According to the AHA, more attention is paid to the systolic reading when evaluating risk for heart disease. However, for evaluating blood pressure, a normal diastolic reading is below 80, says WebMD. A reading between 80 and 89 indicates prehypertension or borderline high blood pressure. A diastolic reading of 90 or greater indicates full-blown high blood pressure.

A single high blood pressure reading doesn’t always mean you have high blood pressure, since these readings can fluctuate, says Healthline. Lifestyle habits such as a good diet free from processed foods and low in sodium along with plenty of exercise can help ward off high blood pressure.

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Blood pressure readings include two important numbers: a systolic reading and a diastolic reading. Maintaining your health and managing blood pressure is easier when you understand the meaning of each of these numbers.
diastolic, pressure, normal, blood pressure
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2016-26-20
Monday, 20 Jun 2016 02:26 PM
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