Men’s Health A-Z

Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is a measure of how much force the heart is using to pump blood around the body.

Blood Pressure

Know the Facts

Your blood pressure can vary throughout the day, and change from day to day. It can also change according to your activity, posture, and emotions. These changes are normal if your blood pressure is within the healthy range.

There are two types of blood pressure:

  • Systolic blood pressure (the top number) measures the force of the blood against your artery walls when it’s at its greatest.
  • Diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) measures the pressure of the blood when the heart relaxes and the force of the blood is at its lowest.

Example: 120 (normal systolic BP, mmHg) / 70 (normal diastolic BP, mmHg)

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is blood pressure that is higher than normal. Having an overly high blood pressure can be harmful. High blood pressure can cause strokes, heart attacks, and heart and kidney failure. It can also be related to dementia and sexual problems. These issues can be prevented if high blood pressure is controlled.