Earlier tonight I was mulling over that statement, and I'm still pretty stymied about exactly if I'd consider it a truism or not. Anyone out there in TV-Land have any defense for why it'd be an apt statement? I've a pending theory or two, but they're pretty shaky.
In other news, I went nuts with the automatic sphygmomanometer, tonight. It wasn't so much manic paranoia or anything, but instead my knowing that blood pressure readings tend to vary greatly for no apparent reason, so it's good to get a few readings over a while to try to get a gist of what's "standard" for an individual. And me being the data-gathering fiend that I am, I couldn't resist (even though it currently looks like I have track-marks along my right arm due to the cuff pinching the skin in places now and again)
11:00 = 128/71 - 66 bpm
11:05 = 117/71 - 72 bpm
12:00 = 114/62 - 69 bpm
01:30 = 142/82 - 67 bpm
02:00 = 131/75 - 76 bpm
03:00 = 127/73 - 65 bpm
03:30 = 130/78 - 64 bpm
04:00 = 138/75 - 66 bpm
04:30 = 147/77 - 66 bpm
05:30 = 126/77 - 60 bpm
For those wondering how that compares, the US medical standard for a healthy person's blood pressure is around 120/80. In the UK, they give a range of 110-140/70-90. A little bit over or a little bit under that range is fine, now and again (EG: that 142/82 one?), since one might just be feeling particularly nervous or frisky during that reading.
For those wondering what that means, think of how you have a standard pressure of blood in your veins, thus leading to it coming out when you've a cut. That basic pressure is what it's like when your heart is between beats, and is the lower, second number. When your heart beats it pushes everything along faster, thus increasing the pressure in a little burst. That pulse-pressure is the higher number.
For those who have an manual sphygmomanometer and a stethoscope and always wondered how to use them? Hook up the sphygmomanometer to the person's bicep and place the stethoscope against the inside crook of their elbow (where you'd draw blood?). You really won't hear anything through the stethoscope, pulse-wise. As you build up the pressure on their arm, you'll eventually start to hear their pulse -- that's the lower number (you can hear it now, since the pressure of the cuff is now equal to the pressure of their basic blood). Keep upping the pressure and the pulse will go silent again -- that's the higher number (you can't hear it again, since the pressure of the cuff is equal to the strongest their heart can push). You can also try doing it in reverse by initially cranking it up to 200 or so, then slowly letting the pressure out (so you'll get the high number once you can hear the pulse, and the low number once the pulse goes away), but that drives some folks batty. I prefer it that way, since it starts off evil and slowly gets better as time progresses.
Oh, and a fairly standard range of heart beats per minute is 60-100 bpm. Not only does this auto-sphygmomanometer do a blood pressure reading, but it also gives you a heart-rate reading while it's at it.