Health check: what do my blood pressure numbers mean?

Health Check: what do my blood pressure numbers mean?

By Michael Tam

If you’re an adult and have ever visited a doctor, you’ve probably had your blood pressure measured. General practitioners tend to obsess over blood pressure. But with good reason: hypertension, or persistently high blood pressure, can lead to heart disease, stroke and diabetes, the nation’s biggest killers.

What is blood pressure?

Blood pressure refers to how hard the blood is pushing against the wall of arteries – these can be thought of as the pipes that deliver blood from the heart (the blood “pump”) to the rest of the body. Continue reading