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What is diastolic blood pressure?

Dr. Merle Myerson, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)
Cardiovascular specialist Dr. Merle Myerson explains the definition of diastolic blood pressure. Watch Dr. Myerson's video for important tips and information about heart health.

Diastolic blood pressure is the lower of two numbers recorded in a blood pressure reading. (In a blood pressure written as a fraction, this is the number shown on the bottom.) The diastolic reading shows the pressure in the arteries when the heart's ventricles are relaxed between beats.

Diastolic blood pressure refers to the pressure in the arteries when the heart is in between compressions or beats. The diastolic blood pressure is the second (or lower) number in a blood pressure reading.
Emilia Klapp
Nutrition & Dietetics Specialist
This is one of two measurements that physicians use to describe blood pressure. In a blood-pressure reading, this is the second or lower number. It indicates how the heart relaxes to allow blood to return to the heart.
At the doctor’s office when you have your blood pressure taken, you will be told two numbers: the second number is your diastolic blood pressure. A blood pressure reading measures how much force your blood is exerting against artery walls as it travels through them from your heart to the rest of your body. Your diastolic blood pressure is the measurement of this force between heartbeats, or when your heart is at rest, refilling with blood and getting ready to pump blood to the rest of the body. (The other number, your systolic pressure, is the reading during a heartbeat.) A diastolic reading higher than 80 mmHg is above normal and may be an indicator that you need treatment for high blood pressure, or hypertension. Watching your weight and avoiding salt can help lower blood pressure if your numbers are not too high.
Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner
The diastolic pressure is the minimum pressure in the arteries when the heart is at rest. The diastolic pressure is recorded as the bottom number in the blood pressure measurement.

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