JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Measuring blood pressure. Artwork of the arteries in a human body seen with a pressure gauge showing a blood pressure reading. Blood pressure is stated as two values: the peak systolic pressure when the heart pumps, and the diastolic pressure when the heart relaxes. A typical blood pressure is 120/70 mm Hg (millimetres of mercury), meaning a systolic pressure of 120mm Hg and a diastolic pressure of 70mm Hg. This is a measure of the pressure exerted by the blood on arterial walls. Arteries receive blood from the heart (upper centre) and carry this blood around the body. Arteries are under higher pressure than the veins that carry the blood back to the heart.
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