Blood pressure measurements identify the force of blood produced by the heart and the size and condition of the arteries. Many factors can affect blood pressure, including:
- The amount of water and salt in the body
- The condition of the kidneys, nervous system, or blood vessels
- The levels of different body hormones
High blood pressure can affect all types of people. High blood pressure is more common in African Americans and people with a family history of the disease. Smoking, obesity and diabetes are all risk factors.
Blood pressure readings contain two numbers:
- The top number is the systolic pressure, the pressure created when the heart beats. It is considered high if it is consistently over 140
- The bottom number is the diastolic pressure, the pressure inside blood vessels when the heart is at rest. It is considered high if it is consistently over 90
Virtua cardiovascular program provides a continuum of care including cardiovascular prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation. The program is staffed by a team of more than 100 board-certified cardiologists, experienced nurses in cardiac care and registered cardiovascular technicians.
Virtua's chest pain protocols allow for rapid identification of the causes of chest pain and provide prompt, high-quality care to all patients. Virtua's cardiac catheterization labs provide full-service diagnostics cauterizations as well as angioplasty and stenting for myocardial infarction (MI) – a heart attack – and acute myocardial infarction (AMI).
Virtua all-digital cardiac catheterization labs at Virtua Memorial and Virtua Marlton are equipped with the latest technology to diagnose narrowed or blocked arteries. These labs are designated by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services to provide emergency intervention including emergency angioplasty and stenting for high-risk patients experiencing a heart attack.