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# What does a blood pressure meaurement mean? What do the numbers in a blood pressure measurement indicate?

2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Rick Koch
Internal Medicine - Cardiology

## In brief: Top number

Is systolic BP & bottom number is diastolic BP and should be less than 140/90 mmhg.

## In brief: Top number

Is systolic BP & bottom number is diastolic BP and should be less than 140/90 mmhg.
Dr. Rick Koch
Dr. Rick Koch
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Internal Medicine

## In brief: A

A blood pressure reading consists of obtaining two numbers, frequently written with a slash separating them (e.
g. 120/80). These numbers respectively represent the systolic and diastolic blood pressures within the circulation. Sometimes a specialized average of these numbers is also calculated and displayed on hospital monitors (referred to as mean arterial pressure). The systolic blood pressure is the maximum blood pressure within the circulation, occurring at the peak of each heartbeat (i.e. The pressure generated by contraction of the heart muscle). The diastolic blood pressure is the minimum blood pressure within the circulation, occurring when the heart is relaxed and is being filled with blood. Both numbers are important when interpreting blood pressure, but often if one number is high, then the other will be high too.

## In brief: A

A blood pressure reading consists of obtaining two numbers, frequently written with a slash separating them (e.
g. 120/80). These numbers respectively represent the systolic and diastolic blood pressures within the circulation. Sometimes a specialized average of these numbers is also calculated and displayed on hospital monitors (referred to as mean arterial pressure). The systolic blood pressure is the maximum blood pressure within the circulation, occurring at the peak of each heartbeat (i.e. The pressure generated by contraction of the heart muscle). The diastolic blood pressure is the minimum blood pressure within the circulation, occurring when the heart is relaxed and is being filled with blood. Both numbers are important when interpreting blood pressure, but often if one number is high, then the other will be high too.
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
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