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Taming The Silent Killer
Jun 2014
Dr P K Sahoo
Sr Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Apollo Hospitals, Bhubaneshwar

High blood pressure, BP or hypertension has been termed as ‘silent killer’. Therefore it is necessary to know more about this ailment and take measures against it.

What is BP?
In simple words, blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries. When the heart contracts and pumps blood, the force or the pressure of blood is at its highest. This is known as systolic pressure. The pressure of the blood comes down when the heart is at rest between beats. This is called diastolic pressure. So the pressure in your blood varies depending on the type of work you are doing. If you are jogging your BP goes up, but when you are relaxing your BP comes down.

What is normal blood pressure?
Blood pressure readings have top and bottom numbers. When a doctor checks your BP he would mention the reading as, 120/80 wherein 120 is systolic and 80 is diastolic. Your readings would determine the state of your health.

  • Normal: Less than 120 over 80 (120/80)
  • Pre-hypertension: 120-139 over 80-89
  • Stage 1 high blood pressure: 140-159 over 90-99
  • Stage 2 high blood pressure: 160 and above, over 100 and above
  • High blood pressure in people over 60 years: 150 and above, over 90 and above