What are dangerous blood pressure levels?

Written by meaghan ringwelski
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What are dangerous blood pressure levels?
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Blood pressure is one of the most basic vital signs used to determine a person's overall health. A person's blood pressure can have a dramatic effect on their overall health. High blood pressure can lead to a lot of very serious health problems, and can damage many organs in the body. It is important to monitor your blood pressure on a regular basis; if it gets too high, medication or other treatments may become necessary.

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The Basics Of Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is the force at which blood presses against the body's arteries as it is pumped by the heart. There are two parts to any blood pressure reading: the systolic pressure and the diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure is the pressure that occurs when a heart is in the process of a beat; it is listed above (or before) the diastolic pressure. Diastolic pressure is the pressure that occurs in the body's arteries in between heartbeats, and is listed below (or after) the systolic pressure.

Getting A Blood Pressure Reading

There are modern, digital devices that can test your blood pressure for you. You can purchase one to keep in your home in order to monitor your blood pressure regularly. Alternatively, you can have your doctor check your blood pressure for you, or use a device at your local pharmacy. It is important to keep an eye on your blood pressure; if it becomes high, treatment may be necessary.

Normal Blood Pressure Readings

Blood pressure is considered to be in the normal range when its systolic pressure is below 120 and its diastolic pressure is less than 80. In other words, a blood pressure reading of 110/65 (110 over 65) is considered to be within the normal range. Anything below 120/80 is considered normal, but if either of these numbers exceeds that point, high blood pressure is present.

High Blood Pressure Readings

Stage one high blood pressure readings are those whose systolic pressure falls between 140 and 159 and/or whose diastolic pressure falls between 90 and 99. In other words, a reading of 145/95 would be considered to be within the stage one high blood pressure range.

Stage two high blood pressure is considered to be within a dangerous blood pressure range. In that case, the systolic pressure would be over 160 and/or the diastolic pressure would be over 100. A reading of 170/105, for instance, would be considered stage two high blood pressure and is classified as a dangerous blood pressure level.

The Risks Of High Blood Pressure

High or dangerous blood pressure levels pose many serious health risks. It can cause heart failure, stroke, coronary heart disease, kidney failure and many other problems. There are often no outward signs of high blood pressure, making regular screenings incredibly important. High blood pressure can cause damage to a person's heart, kidneys, blood vessels, arteries and many other parts of their body.

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