Hypertension Home > Types of Hypertension

When checking your blood pressure, your result will appear as two numbers written like a fraction: one number on top and one on the bottom. For example, "normal" blood pressure is generally read as 120/80. But what do these numbers mean?
These numbers refer to two types of blood pressure:
  • Systolic pressure (the number on top) measures the pressure inside your blood vessels at the moment your heart beats
  • Diastolic pressure (the number on the bottom) measures the pressure in your blood vessels between heartbeats, when your heart is resting.
(Click Hypertension to learn more about the different types of blood pressure. This full-length article also explains why treating hypertension is so important, what you can do to reduce your risk of complications, and more.)
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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