Q:

# How do you know if your blood pressure is too high?

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A person can know if his blood pressure is too high by using a device that checks the diastolic and systolic pressure, says the Centers for Disease Control. Then, the readings are compared to a chart that tells the patient what is a normal or elevated blood pressure. The device that reads blood pressure is called a sphygmomanometer, says Dictionary.com.

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A doctor attaches a cuff to the patient's arm, inflates it, and lets the air out slowly, says the CDC. All the while, he uses a stethoscope to hear the patient's pulse as he monitors the gauge attached to the sphygmomanometer. The systolic pressure is the measurement of the patient's pressure when his heart beats, while the diastolic pressure is the measurement of the pressure between beats. The result is written as a fraction with the systolic pressure the dividend and the diastolic pressure the divisor.

If a person has high blood pressure, his systolic pressure is 140 millimeters of mercury, or mmHg, or higher, while his diastolic pressure is 90 mmHG or higher, claims the CDC. A normal pressure is 120 mmHg or lower, while the diastolic pressure is lower than 80 mmHg. If the blood pressure numbers are 120 to 139 mmHg over 80 to 89 mmHg, the patient is at risk for high blood pressure.

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