SATURN STILLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SATURN STILLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Blood pressure measurement. A man monitors his own blood pressure using a digital sphygmomanometer. An inflatable cuff (grey) is placed around the upper arm; the cuff is connected to a digital electronic device. The cuff is inflated exerting pressure on the brachial artery to stop blood flow in the arm. The pressure is released, and the separate systolic (117) and diastolic (82) pressures of the pumping and relaxed heart are read off. Blood pressure is expressed in millimetres of mercury, as a ratio of these two measurements. Although blood pressure fluctuates throughout the day, it is an important measure of bodily health.
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