Blood pressure test

Blood pressure test

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Credit: ANTONIA REEVE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Blood pressure test. Healthy patient having his blood pressure measured using a sphygmomanometer. This records the systemic arterial blood pressure, which is defined as the pressure in all large arteries except those carrying blood to the lungs. Its screen shows three values (top to bottom): systolic pressure, diastolic pressure and heart rate (pulse per minute). Systolic pressure refers to the peak pressure on arteries during one heartbeat (known as a 'cardiac cycle'). Diastolic pressure refers to the lowest pressure exerted in between beats. Healthy values for these two pressures in adults are 120mmHg and 80mmHg.

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