Understanding BP readings

Your blood pressure reading has 2 numbers. The first is the systolic, which measures the pressure on the blood vessel walls when your heart beats. The second number is the diastolic, which measures the pressure on your blood vessels between beats when the heart is at rest.

What is a normal blood pressure reading?

  • Blood Pressure Category: Normal
    • Systolic mm Hg (upper number): less than 120
    • and Diastolic mm Hg (lower number): less than 80
  • Blood Pressure Category: Prehypertension
    • Systolic mm Hg (upper number): 120 – 139
    • or Diastolic mm Hg (lower number): 80 – 89
  • Blood Pressure Category: High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Stage 1
    • Systolic mm Hg (upper number): 140 – 159
    • or Diastolic mm Hg (lower number): 90 – 99
  • Blood Pressure Category: High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Stage 2
    • Systolic mm Hg (upper number): 160 or higher
    • or Diastolic mm Hg (lower number): 100 or higher
  • Blood Pressure Category: Hypertensive Crisis (Emergency care needed)
    • Systolic mm Hg (upper number): Higher than 180
    • or Diastolic mm Hg (lower number): Higher than 110

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