What is blood pressure screening?
Blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Each time your heart beats, it pumps out blood into the arteries. Your blood pressure is highest when your heart contracts, pumping the blood through your arteries. This is called systolic pressure. When your heart is at rest, between beats, your blood pressure falls. This is the diastolic pressure.
Your blood pressure reading uses these two numbers, the systolic and diastolic pressures. Usually they are written one above or before the other. Readings are interpreted as follows:
- 120 (systolic)/80 (diastolic) or lower indicates normal blood pressure
- 140/90 or higher is high blood pressure
- 120-139 for the top number, or 80-89 for the bottom number is pre-hypertension
High Blood Pressure and Hypertension
High blood pressure usually has no symptoms, except rarely headaches can occur. It can cause serious problems such as stroke, heart failure, heart attack and kidney failure. You can control high blood pressure through healthy lifestyle habits and taking medicines, if needed. A diagnosis of hypertension (a chronic medical condition where your blood pressure readings are consistently elevated) can only be made after a number of high blood pressure readings.
If you believe you have a medical emergency, please call 911.