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Factors Affecting Blood Pressure Essay

811 words - 3 pages

Blood pressure is effected by external and internal variables. Internal variables such as age, gender and heredity can not be changed. External variables such as exercise, reduced stress, and healthy diet can significantly improve blood pressure. Regular exercise can reduce blood pressure and help manage weight and stress. External factors gone unmanaged can cause hypertension that can lead to death.

In the average human, the heart beats sixty to seventy times per minute. Each time the heart beats, it pumps blood. Blood is carried from the heart to all parts of the body in vessels called arteries. The force of the blood pushing against the walls of the arteries is called blood pressure. Blood pressure is highest when when the heart beats, pumping blood. This is systolic blood pressure (SBP). When the heart is resting, between beats, it is at it’s lowest. This is diastolic blood pressure (DBP). SBP is always on top or first, and DBP is always on bottom or second. Blood pressure changes throughout the day, but it is lowest when a person sleeps and rises when they wake up and become active. High blood pressure is know as hypertension.

Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). A typical, healthy blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg and under. It is read “120 over 80”. Measurement is painless and taken with a simple test. A blood pressure cuff and stethescope are used to measure blood pressure. The blood pressure cuff, also called a sphygmomanometer, consists of a cuff with an inflatable bladder, a rubber hand bulb with a valve used to inflate and deflate the cuff, and a pressure gauge. First, the cuff is wrapped snugly around your upper arm. The cuff is then rapidly inflated until the pulse in the upper arm is no longer felt. At this point blood flow in the underlying blood vessel is cut off by the pressure in the cuff. Next, a stethoscope is placed over the brachial artery at the elbow, the cuff is deflated slowly. Whoever is checking the blood pressuere listens
through the stethoscope they hear the heartbeats. At this point, cuff pressure matches pressure in the artery, and blood flow resumes. This is SBP. They continue to slowly deflate the cuff until the sounds stop. This is the DPB.

There are many factors that effect blood pressure. A few are age, gender, emotions, fitness and heredity. Age effects blood pressure because as people age, their blood vessels become less elastic and...

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