The force exerted by the blood upon the walls of the blood vessels.
Blood pressure is recorded as two numbers.
The top number is called the systolic blood
pressure. This is the pressure in the blood vessels when the heart contracts
The bottom number is
called the diastolic blood pressure. This is the pressure in the blood
vessels when the heart is relaxed.
The pressure above would be read as 120 over 80 . Blood pressure is measured
in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg)
Blood Pressure Levels in Adults
||Less than 120
||Less than 80
||20 to 139
||80 to 89
|High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
||140 to 159
||90 to 99
||160 or higher
||100 or higher
The elevated blood pressure readings should be documented on at least two occasions at
least four hours apart.
1. National High Blood Pressure Education Program.The Seventh Report of
the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment
of High Blood Pressure.
Bethesda (MD): National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (US); 2004 Aug.PMID:
2.Pickering TG, et. al., Recommendations for blood pressure measurement in
humans and experimental animals: part 1: blood pressure measurement in humans: a
statement for professionals from the Subcommittee of Professional and Public
Education of the American Heart Association Council on High Blood Pressure
Circulation. 2005 Feb 8;111(5):697-716. PMID:
in pregnancy: executive summary. Obstet Gynecol. 2013 Nov;122(5):1122-31.