Your Blood Pressure

Your Blood Pressure

What is Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is the pressure of the blood in your arteries as your heart pumps it around the body.

Your blood pressure reading is measured with two numbers, for example, 120 over 80 (120/80). The first number is called the systolic blood pressure and is the force your blood puts on blood vessel walls as your heart pumps. The second number is known as diastolic blood pressure and represents the force in the blood vessel walls when your heart is at rest.

How can I reduce my Blood Pressure?
There are a number of steps you can take to lower your blood pressure:
Reduce the amount of salt in your diet
Be active every day
Limit your alcohol intake
Achieve and maintain a healthy weight
Quit smoking
Enjoy healthy eating
Know your blood pressure and have it checked regularly.

What happens if I have high blood pressure?
If your blood pressure remains high, it can lead to serious problems such as a heart attack, a stroke, heart failure or kidney disease. There are usually no signs or symptoms of high blood pressure- you can have high blood pressure and feel perfectly well. The following factors increase the risks of serious problems associated with high blood pressure:
Having high blood cholesterol
Being overweight
Having diabetes.

The word hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure.

If you have high blood pressure your doctor may prescribe medication to reduce your blood pressure.

Blood pressure doe not stay the same all the time. It is always changing to meet your body's needs.

If a reading is high, your doctor will probably measure your blood pressure again on several occasions to confirm the level.

Blood Pressure Readings
Normal: less than 120
Medium: 120-139
High: 140-179
Very High: 180 or higher

Normal: less than 80
Medium: 80-89
High: 90-109
Very High: 110 or higher

For further information please contact:
The Heart Foundation: 1300 36 27 87 or
The Stroke Foundation: 1800 727 653 or