Blood pressure is the reflection of the performance of the heart and responsiveness of the vascular system. It is the product of cardiac output and peripheral vascular resistance. However, isolated systolic hypertension occurs when only systolic pressures are elevated, with a normal or lower mean arterial pressure, effected by increased stiffness of large arteries. To obtain accurate blood pressure measurements, it is useful to understand the influencing physiological factors and use proper recording techniques. Recording blood pressure accurately is at the top of the list of medical student proficiencies.
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