What You Don’t Know Might Kill You: Everything you need to know about blood pressure

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Your Heart

Your heart is an incredible organ. It is responsible for getting oxygen and nutrients to every cell in the body by pushing blood throughout the body. Beating around 100,000 times a day, it pumps blood over the 60,000 miles of blood vessels.

Blood Pressure Explained

A heartbeat is a two part process that takes about a second. During the first part, blood flows into the right and left atria (the top half of the heart). The sinoatrial (SA) node sends an electrical impulse to the atria that causes them to contract, pushing blood into the ventricles through the mitral and tricuspid valves. This phase is called the diastole.

The second part of the pumping process is called the systole. Another electrical pulse from the SA node closes the mitral and tricuspid valves and causes the ventricles to contract. Blood flows into the pulmonary artery to the lungs to get replenish the oxygen and get rid of CO2 and send oxygenated blood to the aortic artery and to the rest of the body.

Blood pressure is the force of the blood against the walls of the arteries. It is highest during the second phase of the heart beat, the systole stage.

Infographic

Below is an infographic from Carrington College describing blood pressure, the risk of high blood pressure and the importance of blood pressure control.

What Are Blood Pressure Numbers? High Blood Pressure?

How Common Is High Blood Pressure? What are the risk factors?

What does the 2 numbers in my blood pressure reading mean?

What should I do if I have high blood pressure?

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