Difference Between Heart Rate and Blood Pressure

The main difference between heart rate and blood pressure is that heart rate is the speed of heartbeat that varies based on the needs of the body whereas blood pressure is the pushing strength generated by the heart on the blood. 

Heart rate and blood pressure are two parameters that interpret the health of the cardiovascular system of the body. They also influence the health of the heart, the muscular pump that pressurizes the blood against the walls of the blood vessels in order to transport it throughout the body. 

Key Areas Covered 

1. What is Heart Rate
     – Definition, Facts, Importance
2. What is Blood Pressure
     – Definition, Facts, Importance
3. What are the Similarities Between Heart Rate and Blood Pressure
     – Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Heart Rate and Blood Pressure
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms: Blood Pressure, Diastolic Pressure, Heart Rate, Resting Heart Rate (RHR), Systolic Pressure 

Difference Between Heart Rate and Blood Pressure - Comparison Summary

What is Heart Rate 

Heart rate is the speed at which the heart beats. It is also called the pulse. The normal heart rate is called the resting heart rate (RHR) and it is 60 to 100 beats per minute in a healthy adult. The heart rate changes based on the age, activity level, medication, body position, stress, etc. The heart rate generally increases with the age. 

Difference Between Heart Rate and Blood Pressure

Figure 1: Heart Rate in a Line Wave

The low heart rate or the weak pulse is called bradycardia. It is caused by hypertension, heart muscle damage, electrolyte imbalance, etc. The faster heart rate is called tachycardia is caused by the interruptions inside the heart, infections, etc. 

What is Blood Pressure 

Blood pressure refers to the pressure of blood inside the circulatory system. It consists of two measurements of blood pressure and is represented as 120/80 mmHg. The two pressure measurements are systolic pressure and the diastolic pressure.  

  • Systolic pressure measures the blood pressure against the artery wall when the heart contracts to pump blood out. It is generally 120 mmHg. 
  • Diastolic pressure measures the same pressure when the heart rests. It is 80 mmHg.
    Main Difference - Heart Rate and Blood Pressure

    Figure 2: Pressure Meter

The altered conditions of blood pressure are hypertension and hypotension.  

Hypertension 

Hypertension or high blood pressure is caused by the high pumping pressure of the heart, which may ultimately weaken the heart while damaging blood vessels. The heart increases its pumping pressure when the organs have a poor oxygen supply. However, hypertension increases the risk of heart disease, heart failure, heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease. 

Hypotension 

Hypotension or low blood pressure occurs when the pumping pressure of the heart is decreased than the normal. It may cause symptoms like fatigue, dizziness, and blurry vision.  

Similarities Between Heart Rate and Blood Pressure 

  • Heart rate and blood pressure are two parameters of the cardiovascular system of the body. 
  • Both heart rate and blood pressure are important in the transport of blood throughout the body. 
  • Depending on the needs, both heart rate and blood pressure are altered. 
  • Both parameters are measured at the same time. 

Difference Between Heart Rate and Blood Pressure 

Definition 

Heart Rate: Speed at which the heart beats

Blood Pressure: Pressure of blood in the circulatory system

Measures as 

Heart Rate: Beats per minute (bpm) 

Blood Pressure: Millimeters per mercury (mmHg) 

Regular Value 

Heart Rate: 60-100 bpm 

Blood Pressure: 120/80 mmHg 

Number of Measurements 

Heart Rate: A single measurement 

Blood Pressure: Consists of two readings: the systolic pressure and diastolic pressure 

Conclusion 

Heart rate is the speed at which the heart beats while blood pressure is the pressure of blood inside the blood vessels. Both heart rate and blood pressure are important in the transport of blood throughout the body based on bodily requirements. The main difference between heart rate and blood pressure is the type of parameter described by each term. 

Reference:

1. Laskowski, Edward R. “What’s a Normal Resting Heart Rate?” MAYO CLINIC, Available Here
2. MacGill , Markus. “What Is a Normal Blood Pressure?” Blood Pressure: What Is Normal? – Medical News Today, Medical News Today, Available Here

Image Courtesy

1. “heart-rate-pulse-live-line-wave-459225″ (CC0) via Pixabay
2. “unit-of-pressure-meter-990462″(CC0) via Pixabay

About the Author: Lakna

Lakna, a graduate in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, is a Molecular Biologist and has a broad and keen interest in the discovery of nature related things

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