Can you explain the numbers the doctor tells me when he takes my blood pressure?
Blood pressure readings include two numbers, generally read in the form of one over the other, as in 120 over 80. The first, higher number is the systolic pressure, which measures the pressure against your artery walls when your heart contracts and pumps the blood through very quickly. The second, lower number is the diastolic pressure, or pressure against the artery walls when the heart is at rest (between pumps). The normal range for adult systolic pressure is generally 120 to 160 millimeters. The normal range for diastolic pressure is 50 to 90 millimeters.