CHRIS PRIEST & MARK CLARKE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHRIS PRIEST & MARK CLARKE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Home visit: general practitioner taking an elderly woman patient's blood pressure. Blood pressure is a measure of the pressure that the circulation exerts against the walls of the main arteries and is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) using a sphygmanometer at the brachial artery of the arm. Two measurements are recorded, one taken when the heart is in contraction (systole) and a second during relaxation (diastole). Normal values for a young adult would be around 120 mmHg for the systolic pressure and 80 mmHg for the diastolic pressure; these are usually recorded as 120/80.
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