What Is a Blood Pressure Screening and Why Is It Important?

Masih Qawam

Haller's Pharmacy and Medical Supply

Fremont, California

February 1, 2022

Blood pressure is defined as the pressure of circulating blood against the walls of blood vessels, primarily due to the heart pumping blood through the circulatory system. This pressure normally rises and falls throughout the day, and it can progress to health problems if it stays high for too long. High blood pressure (hypertension), is mostly asymptomatic, which can hinder detection and treatment while placing an individual at high risk for heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease.

Your blood pressure comprises two numbers, systolic and diastolic. The top number, systolic, is the pressure your blood is applying against the walls of your arteries when the heart beats, while the bottom number, diastolic, is the pressure your blood is applying against the walls of your arteries while the heart is resting between beats. The American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association classifies normal blood pressure as 120/80 mm Hg and hypertension as any reading above 130/80 mm Hg.

Optimal times to measure your blood pressure are in the morning before eating or taking any medications and in the evening, preferably before dinner. For best results, take two to three readings each time. It’s important to take measurements properly such as resting in a chair with your back straight and supported, feet flat on the floor, and one arm resting on a flat surface at heart level for about five minutes before checking your blood pressure. It’s vital that your machine is calibrated and that you use the right cuff size as well. If you have further questions, your local pharmacist can help.

The views and opinions expressed above are those of the author and do not necessarily represent that of AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation. The content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, prescribe or treat any health condition and should not be used as a substitute for consulting with your health professional.

More Ask a Pharmacist Articles