SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Blood pressure gauge or sphygmomanometer with a salt-cellar. This type of gauge uses an inflatable cuff around the arm (not seen). The pressure in the cuff needed to cut off blood flow into the patient's arm is a measure of the maximum blood pressure during the heart's cycle (the systolic pressure). The reading shown is very high; a typical healthy value is 120 millimetres of mercury. The gauge can also be used to measure minimum (diastolic) blood pressure. High blood pressure (hypertension), which can be caused by excess salt in the diet, is linked with an increased risk of heart and circulatory disease, stroke, and kidney disease.
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