Blood pressure is a measurement of the tension created on the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps blood around your body. Your blood pressure will go up and down naturally throughout the day depending on what you are doing, especially if you are doing physical activity, or on the other hand, sleeping.
Blood pressure is measured regularly as part of your cardiac care. The sphygmomanometer (blood pressure monitor) gives 2 blood pressure parameters:
High blood pressure (hypertension) is when your blood pressure remains higher than normal (generally blood pressure > 140/90). It is one of the main risk factors for heart disease, especially heart attacks and strokes. Unfortunately, hypertension can be left undiagnosed for years if you are not experiencing any symptoms. This makes it more important to maintain regular check-ups with your GP, and your heart specialist if required to maintain adequate blood pressure control and reduce your risk of serious health problems such as heart attack and stroke.
Most (>90%) of high blood pressure in the community arises de novo, ie. it is an “essential” hypertension. There are, however, some factors which can increase your likelihood of developing it:
Your blood pressure can increase temporarily due to stress, your emotional state, recent physical activity, caffeine/alcohol consumption or even talking.


A healthy lifestyle is not only important for overall wellbeing, but can also help to reduce blood pressure and reduce your reliance on medications. Some actions which may be recommended include:
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