First Time User? Sign Up Now
For the visually-impaired, please click here.
Home > Health Library > Systolic Blood Pressure
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: December 16, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2020 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.