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Blood pressure is a measure of how hard the blood pushes against the walls of your arteries. It's normal for blood pressure to go up and down throughout the day, but if it stays up, you have high blood pressure. Another name for high blood pressure is hypertension.
Two numbers tell you your blood pressure. The first number is the systolic pressure. It shows how hard the blood pushes when your heart is pumping. The second number is the diastolic pressure. It shows how hard the blood pushes between heartbeats, when your heart is relaxed and filling with blood.
Your doctor will give you a goal for your blood pressure. Your goal will be based on your health and your age. High blood pressure (hypertension) means that the top number stays high, or the bottom number stays high, or both.
High blood pressure increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other problems. You and your doctor will talk about your risks of these problems based on your blood pressure.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
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Adaptation Date: 5/19/2020
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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