Do you often wonder what your blood pressure numbers mean? Doctors call them systolic (the top number) and diastolic (the bottom number) blood pressure.Knowing both is important and could save your life.
What Does the Systolic Blood Pressure Number Mean?
When your heart beats, it squeezes and pushes blood through your arteries to the rest of your body. This force creates pressure on those blood vessels, and that's your systolic blood pressure. A normal systolic pressure is below 120. A reading of 140 or more is high blood pressure (also called hypertension).
What Does the Diastolic Blood Pressure Number Mean?
The diastolic reading, or the bottom number, is the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats. This is the time when the heart fills with blood and gets oxygen. A normal diastolic blood pressure is lower than 80. 90 or higher is high blood pressure.