Registered charity in England No 1144451
Meetings held at the Laindon Center Click for map
Basildon & District Heart Support Group
A self-help group that helps patients and carers face the future
Affiliated to the British Heart Foundation
Copyright © Basildon & District Heart Support Group
High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure (BP) is the force exerted on the wall of your arteries by the blood as it is
pumped. When the force is too high it can damage the delicate lining of the blood vessel.
The highest pressure, (systolic pressure) is the pressure when the beat/contraction of your heart
forces blood around the body.
The lowest pressure, (diastolic pressure) is between heartbeats when the heart is resting. BP is
measured in millimeters of mercury
A blood pressure reading gives two numbers, the first systolic (top number), the second diastolic (bottom number).
As a healthy adult your target is to have a BP below 140/85mmHg.
If you have diabetes, kidney disease or Coronary Heart Disease then it should be below
Exceeding recommended alcohol levels (21 units per week for a man, 14 units per week for a
women), being overweight and excess stress can all lead to an increase in BP.
More information on High Blood Pressure can be obtained from the BHF website