St. Joseph's

Blood Pressure Reading

Early Detection of High Blood Pressure

What is a blood pressure reading?

An inflatable cuff, wrapped around your upper arm, measures the amount of pressure your heart generates when pumping blood out through your arteries (systolic pressure) and measures the amount of pressure in your arteries when your heart is at rest between beats (diastolic pressure.)

Why is it important?

For early detection of high blood pressure (hypertension). Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the resistance to blood flow in your arteries. Narrowed arteries limit this blood flow. In general, the more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the harder your heart must work to pump the same amount of blood. The longer high blood pressure goes undetected and untreated, the higher your risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure and kidney damage.

How often should you get a blood pressure reading?

Initial test at age 21, then at least every two years.

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