|Description:||Here, CDC employee, Robyn Morgan (left), was shown having her blood pressure read by Robyn Morgan, of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP), during a 2005 CDC blood pressure screening event. Campuses included were Century Center, Chamblee, Corporate Square, Executive Park, Koger, and Roybal, and was provided by the Office of Women’s Health (OWH), Office of Health and Safety (OHS), NCCDPHP’s Cardiovascular Health Branch (CVH), as well as volunteers from various other centers, institutes, and offices (CIOs). This annual event was held in observance of National High Blood Pressure Education Month, National Nurses Week, and National Women’s Health Week.|
High blood pressure (HBP), or hypertension, is known as a “silent killer” for people who have HBP often do not experience symptoms, but are at greater risk for heart disease and stroke, which are leading causes of death in both women and men.
Ms. Morgan was using a “sphygmomanometer”, a device that employs an air-filled cuff wrapped around the upper arm, which obstructs the bloodflow into the arm. By releasing the air pumped into the cuff in small, incremental quantities, eventually blood is permitted to flow back into the arm, at which point, the pressure inside the cuff is measured, and which will equate to the pressure inside the arteries. This pressure, known as the systolic pressure, represents the pressure in the arteries during contraction of the heart. When the heart relaxes between beats the pressure drops, and is known as the diastolic pressure. Together, these two pressures are written as a ratio, and represents ones “blood pressure”. For most adults, normal blood pressure is 120/80 (systolic/diasolic) mm Hg. High blood pressure is a systolic of 140 mm HG or more, or a diastolic of 90 mm HG or more.