What is blood pressure?

Almost half of people who have high blood pressure don’t know it.

If your blood pressure (BP) is too high, it puts extra strain on your blood vessels, heart and other organs. It also increases your risk of a heart attack or stroke, as well as heart and kidney disease, and is linked to some forms of dementia. But we can reduce our risk by making some healthy lifestyle changes.

What is blood pressure?

It is a measure of how hard your blood is being pushed through your blood vessels. It is recorded with two numbers. The first (or top) number is the pressure when your heart contracts/squeezes. This is called the systolic pressure. The second (or bottom) number is when your heart relaxes between the beats. This is called the diastolic pressure. They’re both measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg).
The ‘ideal’ healthy range is systolic pressure (the top number) between 90-120 and the diastolic pressure (the bottom number) between 60-80. So a high reading is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher.

Benefits of healthy blood pressure

As long as your BP is not too low, we could all reduce our risk and bring it down a little. Making healthy lifestyle changes can help reduce your chances of high blood pressure and help lower it as well. This means your risk of serious conditions will decrease. Find out more about what you can do to reduce your risk and make some small changes

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