Systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure are two components of measuring blood pressure. Blood pressure is the force exerted by circulating blood against the walls of the blood vessels.
Systolic Blood Pressure:
Systolic blood pressure represents the higher number in a blood pressure reading and is the pressure exerted on the arterial walls when the heart contracts or beats. It is the maximum pressure reached during the cardiac cycle when the heart pumps blood into the arteries. Systolic blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg).
Diastolic Blood Pressure:
Diastolic blood pressure represents the lower number in a blood pressure reading and is the pressure exerted on the arterial walls when the heart is at rest or between beats. It is the minimum pressure reached during the cardiac cycle when the heart is in a relaxed state, allowing for blood to fill the chambers. Diastolic blood pressure is also measured in mmHg.
Difference Between Systolic and Diastolic Blood Pressure:
The difference between systolic and diastolic blood pressure is known as the pulse pressure. Pulse pressure is calculated by subtracting the diastolic blood pressure from the systolic blood pressure.
Pulse Pressure = Systolic Blood Pressure – Diastolic Blood Pressure
The pulse pressure provides information about the elasticity and compliance of the arteries. A wider pulse pressure may indicate increased arterial stiffness, while a narrower pulse pressure may suggest reduced arterial compliance. It can also provide insights into cardiovascular health and conditions such as hypertension or arterial disease.
It’s worth noting that blood pressure is typically expressed as a ratio or fraction, such as “120/80 mmHg,” where 120 represents the systolic blood pressure and 80 represents the diastolic blood pressure.