Blood Pressure is the pressure blood exerts against the walls of the arteries. The extent of pressure depends upon the strength and the rate of the heart’s contraction, the volume of blood in the circulatory system and the elasticity of the arteries. Two measurements are taken, the highest and lowest values for pressure which correspond to the two main stages in the pumping action of the heart.
A healthy (normal) blood pressure reading varies with age, activity, altitude and from person to person. Bearing in mind these qualifications, values between 100/60 and 140/90 are generally considered normal. A single blood pressure reading, unless very high or very low, should not be considered abnormal. An average of several readings taken on different days is generally used.
Hypertension or high blood pressure, is a condition in which a person’s blood pressure is persistently above normal. Although blood pressure varies from person to person and from time to time, 140/90 or above is considered abnormal when measured while the person is at rest. Normal blood pressure is about 120/80.
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is itself a major disorder that requires treatment. Untreated, this sustained rise in blood pressure can damage the heart, blood vessels and kidneys. Other serious disorders that cause blood pressure to rise well above the normal level include congestive heart failure and head injuries.
Hypotension or low blood pressure, is a condition in which the blood pressure is reduced or below normal. Hypotension is considered by many patients to be a disorder that can cause various symptoms, including depression, lethargy, and fatigue.