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when blood pressure numbers are close together

Blood pressure is read as two numbers, such as 110/70. The first number indicates the amount of pressure in your arteries when your heart contracts in a beat. The second number indicates the pressure in your arteries while your heart is at rest between beats.

The difference between these two numbers is called your “pulse pressure.” For example, if your pressure is 110/70, that’s a pulse pressure of 40, which is considered normal.

If your numbers are closer together, such as 110/90, you have a low pulse pressure. In this example, it would be 20. This can be an indication of poor heart function.

However, the answer to your question depends a bit on how high the numbers are to begin with. A blood pressure of 140/100, for example, would be considered “high blood pressure,” even though the pulse pressure of 40 is considered normal. A blood pressure of 180/160 would be considered extremely high blood pressure, even though the pulse pressure of 20 would be considered “low.”

If you have questions about your blood pressure, in general, I suggest you speak to your primary health care provider for an explanation that’s specific to your case.