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41 PRACTICAL QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT HYPERTENSION AND HYPERCHOLESTEROLEMIA - 2008

GENERAL INFORMATION PREVIOUS QUESTION  QUESTIONS  NEXT QUESTION
  • Blood pressure is recorded with two numbers, e.g. 150/95. The higher number is the "systolic" pressure, which is also known as the "maximum " pressure, and the lower number is the "diastolic" or "minimum". Systolic is the pressure that is exerted on the arteries when the heart contracts in order to send the blood towards the organs. Diastolic is the pressure exerted when the heart relaxes in order to be filled again with blood.
  • Blood pressure is measured in millimeters on a column of mercury (mmHg). Therefore electronic devices record the pressure as, for example, 140/90 (in contrast to 14/9 as it is usually known to most people).
  • The level of blood pressure depends on the force by which the heart sends blood and on the effect that the resistance of the small peripheral arteries has on this transmission. In young hypertensive persons high blood pressure is usually due to the increased force by which the heart transmits the blood. In the elderly, the increased resistance of arteries is usually the cause of high blood pressure. Furthermore, it is common for the elderly to have high systolic pressure with normal or low diastolic pressure. This kind of hypertension, called "systolic hypertension ", is equally as or even more dangerous than the "diastolic " or the "combined diastolic and systolic hypertension" and is due to the stiffness of the walls of the large arteries.

WRITING GROUP
G. Stergiou, Chairman
A. Achimastos
E. Andreadis
I. Avramopoulos
M. Elissaf
N. Karatzas
T. Mountokalakis
D. Papadogiannis
K. Siamopoulos
E. Varsamis
K. Vemmos
D. Vlahakos