Understand Your Numbers

Understand your numbers

Understand your numbers

Understand what your blood pressure numbers mean, and learn the consequences of not committing to a plan to lower your blood pressure.

159/103 top number

Top Number

(Systolic Blood Pressure)
This is the amount of pressure your blood puts on your artery walls when your heart beats.

159/103 bottom number

Bottom Number

(Diastolic Blood Pressure)
This is the amount of pressure your blood puts on your artery walls when your heart is resting between beats.

mm Hg: means millimeters of mercury.
Mercury was used in first blood pressure gauges and is still used as a unit of measurement for pressure in medicine.

BLOOD PRESSURE CHART

Blood Pressure Category
Systolic mm Hg Top Number
Diastolic mm Hg Bottom Number
Normal Keep it up!
less than 120
and
less than 80
Elevated Take steps to control BP
120 – 129
and
less than 80
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Stage 1 Lifestyle changes + doctor may prescribe BP medication
130 – 139
or
80 – 89
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Stage 2 Doctors likely to prescribe BP medication + lifestyle changes
140 or higher
or
90 or higher
Hypertensive Crisis Consult your doctor immediately
Higher than 180
and/or
Higher than 120

RISKS OF HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE (HBP)

STROKE

HBP can cause blood vessels in the brain to burst or clog more easily.

Learn more on the American
Stroke Association Site

HEART FAILURE

HBP can cause the heart to enlarge and fail to supply blood to the body.

VISION LOSS

HBP can strain the vessels in the eyes.

KIDNEY DISEASE OR FAILURE

HBP can damage the arteries around the kidneys and reduce their ability to effectively -filter blood.

HEART ATTACK

HBP damages arteries that can become blocked.

SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION

HBP can cause erectile dysfunction in men or lower libido in women.