What is the difference between diastolic and systolic blood pressure numbers and what do they mean?
When reading your blood pressure numbers, the top number is the systolic pressure and the bottom number is the diastolic pressure. The systolic pressure is the maximum pressure your heart exerts while beating. The diastolic pressure is the amount of pressure in your arteries between beats. Think of this number as the one you get when your heart relaxes - it should be lower. The numeric difference between the two numbers is called your pulse pressure.
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