Heart rate and blood pressure are two of four “vital signs” that help assess a person’s general health and give clues to possible diseases.
The other two are body temperature and respiratory rate. We are familiar with body temperature, since we often measure it at home to check for infection. Respiratory rate refers to the number of breaths a person takes every minute.
But heart rate and blood pressure both measure blood flow, and sound as though they are the same. Not only are they different, they’re not even directly related. As heart rate speeds up, blood pressure may stay the same, since healthy blood vessels will dilate to allow more blood to flow through them. In fact, it is possible for your heart rate to double while your blood pressure hardly changes at all.
Heart Rate and Blood Pressure
Your heart rate, also known as your pulse, refers to the number of times your heart beats per minute. Your blood pressure, on the other hand, measures how forcefully your blood flows through your veins.
So heart rate refers to the speed of your heartbeat, while blood pressure refers to the amount of pressure your blood exerts against the walls of your arteries. But what does that difference mean for your health?
A normal resting heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute (BPM) in adults. In general, a low heart rate is a good thing, since it suggests that your heart is working efficiently. A high heart rate, on the other hand, is almost always a signal that your heart is overworking, and is a sign of any of a number of health conditions, including cardiovascular disease.
Heart rate is usually measured in a low-tech way, by counting the number of heartbeats, usually in the neck or wrist, but it may also be measured in a more high-tech fashion, by using an electrocardiogram (EKG).
Blood pressure is expressed as two numbers. The first number is the systolic pressure, a measure of how forcefully blood flows through your arteries during a heartbeat. The second number is the diastolic pressure, which measures your blood pressure between heartbeats, while your heart is relaxed.
Normal blood pressure is considered 120/80 mmHg. Blood pressure is considered “high,” a condition known as hypertension, is above 130/80. Blood pressure above 180/120 is considered severe hypertension.
Hypertension is known as the “silent killer,” because it has no symptoms it is implicated in so many diseases, including cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure, as well as metabolic syndrome, which makes a person more likely to develop diabetes. High blood pressure has even been implicated as a cause of dementia.
Low blood pressure, known as hypotension, on the other hand, is not dangerous unless it is symptomatic. Symptoms of low blood pressure include dizziness, fainting, and blurry vision.
Sudden drops in blood pressure may be caused by severe blood loss, severe infection, or an allergic reaction. These are dangerous, and can even be life-threatening.
At Laurel Bay Health and Rehabilitation Center, in Keansburg, NJ, our residents receive the highest quality rehabilitative and skilled nursing care in a homelike and compassionate environment conducive to healing.
Our family -owned and -operated 123-bed facility, is tucked away in the quiet beach town of Keansburg, NJ at the Jersey Shore, within sight of Sandy Hook and the New York City skyline.
Our services include short-term rehab, long-term care, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, hospice care, and respite care for those times when the caretaker needs to be taken care of.
We proudly provide the following specialty healthcare services: Complex Medical Care Management, Intravenous (IV) Therapy, Wound Care, Enteral Feeding, Pain Management, Oxygen Therapy, Tracheostomy Care, a Dedicated Pulmonary Program, Hospice Care with private suites, a Stroke Rehab Program, Respiratory Support, Eye Care, Dental Care, Podiatry, and Psychological Consults and Counseling.
We pride ourselves on healing the entire patient through a holistic and individualized approach.
Our meticulous care planning helps us ensure that each and every resident receives the best in clinical care, support and unconditional love.
For over 25 years, we have been a staple of health and wellness, serving the members of our community and partnering with our local hospitals like Bayshore Community Hospital in Holmdel, NJ and Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, NJ.
We provide a tailored program of physical, occupational and speech therapy, as well as all types of specialized care under one roof.
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