Definition of high blood pressure
What to do in case of hypertension?
For a better understanding of blood pressure The follow-up of a high blood pressure
High blood pressure damage High blood pressure and special cases
Why does high blood pressure exist? The self-measurement of blood pressure
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II For a better understanding of blood pressure

Description of the arteries and the blood pressure
2.1 - Working of the blood circulation: the vessel and the heart
2.2 - Definition of the blood pressure
Who is concerned with high blood pressure?
2.3 - Epidemiological data
2.4 - Influence of sex
2.5 - Race
The risk is raised by the existence of other diseases
2.6 - Cholesterol
2.7 - Diabetes
2.8 - Tobacco
2.9 - The age

2.1 - Working of the blood circulation: the vessel and the heart

- The heart

It consists of 4 cavities, two atria and two ventricles:

Blood is pumped to the limbs and other parts of the body by a large artery called the aorta. Theoretically, blood pressure should be measured in this artery.

At each beat or cardiac contraction, called systole, the blood will be pumped by the aorta with the energy transformed into pressure. The blood pressure measured at this time is then called systolic and corresponds to the maximum.

As the heart is being filled up with blood (called diastole), the valves of the aorta will closed themselves so that the blood cannot re-enter the heart. The residual pressure in the vessels is then called diastolic (corresponding to the minimum).

Thus, a person who has a blood pressure of 140/90 millimetres of Mercury (14/9) has in fact a pressure in the artery (aorta) of 140 millimetres of Mercury when the heart contracts and pumps the blood and 90 millimetres of Mercury of residual blood pressure when the heart is not contracting.

- Arteries

The blood leaves the heart by an artery of large diameter (approximately 3 centimetres), called the aorta, and then passes to the smaller arteries. The blood pressure increases in the small arteries.

File last modified on : 28 sep 2003

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