How to Calculate Pulse Pressure


The pulse pressure is the difference between systolic and diastolic blood pressure. In other words, it is a spread between maximum and minimum blood pressure during the heart contraction cycle. The magnitude of the pulse pressure depends upon the aorta compliance and the heart stroke volume. An elevated pulse pressure is indicative for cardiovascular disease.

Things You'll Need

  • Calculator
  • Logbook

Measure daily the systolic and diastolic blood pressure using a blood pressure monitor. For example, the systolic pressure is 130 mmHg, and the diastolic one is 82 mmHg.

Subtract the diastolic blood pressure from the systolic one to calculate the pulse pressure. For the example given, the pulse pressure is 130 - 82 = 48 mmHg.

Repeat Step 1 and Step 2 for 2 to 4 weeks. Write down all pressure values in the logbook.

Compare the calculated pulse pressure with the following guideline. The pulse pressure between 40 and 60 mmHg is normal. The pulse pressure that is consistently higher than 60 mmHg is likely caused by the aorta stiffness and is the serious risk factor for cardiovascular and aorta related diseases. The pulse pressure that is 25 mmHg or lower may indicate the heart failure or a significant blood loss.

Tips & Warnings

  • The pulse pressure might be higher than normal during or immediately after exercises.

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