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Blood Pressure

Blood Pressure
Blood Pressure
Causes and Risk Factors

Blood pressure
High blood pressure (hypertension) is blood pressure that is 140/90 or higher for most American adults.  But what exactly is blood pressure at all?  And how can you know if your blood pressure is either high OR low?

What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure, or BP, is a measurement of the force that your blood puts against artery walls.  When your doctor takes your blood pressure, you are given two different numbers.  Systolic pressure is the first and higher number you receive from a blood pressure check.  Systolic pressure is a measurement of the pressure on the arteries when your heart beats.  Diastolic pressure is the lowest type of pressure, and occurs when your heart takes a very quick pause after two consequent beats; this is the second number that you will receive when your blood pressure is checked. 

Normal blood pressure
An ideal blood pressure while resting is around 120/80.  In this reading, systolic pressure is 120 mmHg during heart beat, and diastolic pressure is 80 mmHg during the heartbeat pause.  However, blood pressure does not remain the same:  it can increase or decrease depending on a number of factors.  Medication, caffeine, anxiety, how physically active you are, the time of day, whether or not you exercised recently, and other factors all determine your blood pressure. 

There are certain activities or certain people who are at risk of developing either high or low blood pressure.  But what are these risk factors?  And how can you avoid them? Continue reading for more information on causes of high blood pressure that you can avoid here.

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