What do blood pressure numbers indicate?
The higher (systolic) number represents the pressure while the heart contracts to pump blood to the body. The lower (diastolic) number represents the pressure when the heart relaxes between beats. The systolic pressure is always stated first. For example: 118/76 (118 over 76); systolic = 118, diastolic = 76.

Blood pressure below 120 over 80 mmHg (millimeters of mercury) is considered optimal for adults. A systolic pressure of 120 to 139 mmHg or a diastolic pressure of 80 to 89 mmHg is considered "prehypertension" and needs to be watched carefully. A blood pressure reading of 140 over 90 or higher is considered elevated (high).

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1. What is blood pressure?
2. What do blood pressure numbers indicate?
3. What is high blood pressure?
4. How can I tell if I have high blood pressure?