Chris Evans reveals his wife gave him a blood pressure monitor
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Put simply, blood pressure is how we measure the force at which your heart pumps blood around your body. If your blood pressure is too high, or too low, it can be a warning sign for serious health problems to come. So when it comes to blood pressure, what is normal?
Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg) and is given as two numbers.
These numbers are:
Systolic pressure: The top number is a measurement of the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats.
Diastolic pressure is the bottom number. This is a measurement of the pressure in your arteries between heartbeats.
What is normal blood pressure?
According to the NHS, a healthy blood pressure reading is between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is considered to be anything higher than 140/90mmHg.
Low blood pressure is less common and is considered to be anything below 90/60mmHg.
Is normal blood pressure affected by age?
As you get older, your blood pressure typically gets higher. This is because of your arteries stiffening, but can also be down to lifestyle changes such as not exercising as regularly.
What is considered a normal blood pressure is not relative to your age.
The range for healthy blood pressure is the same, no matter how old you are.
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High blood pressure
High blood pressure rarely has noticeable symptoms, which is why it is important to have your blood pressure checked.
The NHS says a third of adults in the UK will have high blood pressure, though many of those will not know that.
Adults over 40 are advised to have their blood pressure checked every five years.
If high blood pressure is left untreated it can increase your risk of heart attacks and strokes.
What causes high blood pressure?
It’s not always possible to identify the root cause of high blood pressure, however there are things that can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure.
- Being overweight
- Not doing enough exercise
- Not eating enough fruit and vegetables
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Drinking too much caffeine
A healthy lifestyle can help to lower blood pressure, or prevent you from developing high blood pressure. However, high blood pressure is also treated with medicines.
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