MARK THOMAS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK THOMAS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Blood pressure measurement. General practice doctor measuring a woman's blood pressure with a sphygmomanometer. The patient has an inflatable cuff (red) on her upper arm, and a stethoscope is being used to listen to blood flow through the patient's arm. The inflated cuff temporarily cuts off the blood flow. As it is deflated, pulsing blood flow resumes and a reading of the systolic pressure is taken. As the cuff is further deflated, smooth blood flow resumes and the diastolic pressure is recorded. Blood pressure is an important measure of health and fitness. Abnormally high pressure (hypertension) can cause heart failure.
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