Skip to content

    Heart Failure Health Center

    Font Size

    Your Doctor's Exam for Heart Failure

    Heart Failure and Blood Pressure continued...

    It is recorded as two measurements:

    Systolic is the pressure in the arteries when the heart squeezes (the higher number).

    Diastolic is the pressure in the arteries when the heart relaxes between heartbeats (the lower number).

    Normal blood pressure for an adult, relaxed at rest, is 100-120 over 80. The 100-120 is the systolic pressure; the diastolic pressure is 80. Blood pressure readings are written like fractions. For example, 120/80.

    Blood pressure may go up or down depending on your:

    • Age
    • Heart condition
    • Emotions
    • Activity
    • Medications

    One high reading doesn’t mean you have high blood pressure. You have to measure your blood pressure at different times while resting to find out your typical value.

    Heart Failure and the Physical Exam

    Your doctor can also tell about your heart's health by examining other parts of your body like your arms, legs, and skin.

    Your doctor may look for fluid in the lungs with a stethoscope. People with heart failure may also have enlarged neck veins, swelling of the legs or abdomen, or an enlarged liver.

    Heart Failure and Blood Tests

    Your doctor may recommend blood tests to check your cholesterol and other things  that may signal heart disease.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by James Beckerman, MD, FACC on June 13, 2016
    1 | 2

    Today on WebMD

    Compressed heart
    Salt Shockers
    Inside A Heart Attack
    lowering blood pressure

    Mechanical Heart
    Omega 3 Overview Slideshow
    Atrial Fibrillation Guide
    Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol

    Compressed heart
    FAQ Heart Failure
    Cholesterol Confusion
    Health Check
    Resolved To Quit Smoking

    WebMD Special Sections