Skip to Content
Systolic pressure is the pressure of blood against the artery walls
when the heart has just finished contracting or pumping out blood. (Diastolic
pressure is the pressure of blood against the artery walls between heartbeats,
when the heart is relaxed and filling with blood.)
Systolic blood pressure is the upper number of a blood pressure
reading. For example, if a person's systolic pressure is 120 millimeters of
mercury (mm Hg) and the diastolic pressure is 80 mm Hg, blood pressure is
recorded as 120/80 and read as "120 over 80."
Current as of:
February 20, 2015
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Stephen Fort, MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
© Copyright 2015 Rush-Copley Medical Center • 2000 Ogden Avenue; Aurora, IL 60504
Main: 630-978-6200 • Physician Referral & Information: 630-978-6700 or 866-4COPLEY (866-426-7539)