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Blood Pressure


City Risk LogoOccupational Health & Infectious Disease

                        Risk Management, Portland, OR                                                              4/10/13

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What do the numbers mean?

Blood pressure is written as two numbers. The first (systolic) number represents the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart beats. The second (diastolic) number represents the pressure in your vessels when your heart rests between beats.

High BP: 140/90 or higher


    • Having high BP, also called hypertension, puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke which are leading causes of death in theU.S.

Risk Factors:

    • Increased age                                                                     
    • High sodium (salt) diet
    • Being overweight
    • Not getting enough exercise
    • Drinking too much alcohol
    • Smoking
    • Genetics (family history of high BP)
    • Race (African-Americans have a greater rate of high BP)

Signs & Symptoms:

    • High BP is called the "silent killer" because it often has no warning signs or symptoms, and many people don't realize they have it.

Low BP: 90/60 or lower


    • Low BP, also called hypotension, would seem to be something to strive for; however, for many people, low BP can cause symptoms of dizziness and fainting. In severe cases, low BP can be life threatening.

Risk Factors:

    • Pregnancy
    • Heart problems
    • Dehydration
    • Blood loss
    • Lack of nutrients in your diet
    • Certain medications

Signs & Symptoms:

    • Dizziness or light-headedness
    • Fainting
    • Blurred vision
    • Nausea
    • Cold, clammy, pale skin
    • Rapid, shallow breathing
    • Fatigue



Monitor your BP!

Have regular visits with your doctor

Stop by any Portland Fire Station and ask if you can have your BP checked


- High Blood Pressure. (2013). Retrieved April 10, 2013, from

- High blood pressure (hypertension). (2012). Retrieved April 10, 2013, from

- Low blood pressure (hypotension). (2012). Retrieved April 10, 2013, from