What Are The Numbers On Your BP Reading Saying?
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A reading of 120/80 mmHg shows normal BP. The systolic no. (120) shows pressure on arteries as the heart beats; the diastolic no. (80) shows arterial pressure as the heart refills between beats. Hypotension is BP below 90/60 and hypertension is above 140/90. BP grows with age, and men tend to have higher BP. Monitor your lifestyle and diet. Quit high-fat foods, smoking, and boozing for a healthy reading.
When it comes to our health, there are numbers we must pay close attention to, and one in particular we must keep a sharper eye on. We’re talking about blood pressure numbers; understanding your blood pressure reading can be the difference between life and death. You see, the numbers that show when we take our blood pressure reveal a lot about our health. Keeping your numbers in a healthy range will help you continue a long, joyful life.
If you don’t quite understand the importance of those numbers, let us break down some facts with the help of an age- and gender-wise blood pressure chart to give you a better idea.
What Is Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure by name is simple — it refers to the amount of pressure put on your vessels as blood travels around your body. Your blood originates in your heart and gets pumped out to reach other vital organs and parts of your body.
Blood pressure can come in three forms: low, normal, and high. Ideally, you want a normal blood pressure reading, but if it’s low or high, it can have serious health consequences. Understanding blood pressure, though, goes a bit further than just recognizing its role in the body. To get a better understanding of blood pressure, you have to look at the numbers in the blood pressure chart.
Diastolic And Systolic Numbers
You may have heard such readings like 130/86 mmHg or 123/82 mmHg, but what does this really tell us? Blood pressure readings use two numbers: diastolic and systolic.
Diastolic is the second number; this number is always lower and tells us the pressure on the arteries between heart beats. This is the time when the heart refills with blood.
Systolic is the first number and is always higher. It reveals the amount of pressure on the arteries while the heart beats.
The American Heart Association has created recommendations for blood pressure so you can stay healthy and avoid hypotension and hypertension. The following recommendations are:
|Hypotension (too low)||Lower than 90/60 mmHg|
|Normal||Lower than 120/80 mmHg|
|Prehypertension||120/80 to 139/89 mmHg|
|Hypertension stage 1||140/90 to 159/99 mmHg|
|Hypertension stage 2||Higher than 160/100 mmHg|
|Hypertension crisis||180/110 mmHg — emergency personnel should be called|
When it comes to importance, systolic pressure is more closely looked at because it is what can cause higher risks to your health, even more so with seniors.
Blood Pressure Chart By Age And Gender
|15–18||117/77 mmHg||120/85 mmHg|
|19–24||120/79 mmHg||120/79 mmHg|
|25–29||120/80 mmHg||121/80/ mmHg|
|30–35||122/81 mmHg||123/82 mmHg|
|36–39||123/82 mmHg||124/83 mmHg|
|40–45||124/83 mmHg||125/83 mmHg|
|46–49||126/84 mmHg||127/84 mmHg|
|50–55||129/85 mmHg||128/85 mmHg|
|56–59||130/86 mmHg||131/87 mmHg|
|60 and older||134/84 mmHg||135/88 mmHg|
What Affects Blood Pressure?
There are many internal and external factors contributing to blood pressure, monitoring which can give you the most accurate numbers:
- Diet — high-salt foods, processed foods, foods high in fat
- Family history
- Lack of physical activity — if you check your blood pressure after activity, though, it will appear higher
- Lack of potassium
- Lack of vitamin D
- Alcohol consumption
- Chronic conditions like kidney disease
As you can see, some of these risk factors are controllable and some are not — race, age, and family history. Therefore, it’s recommended that you manage your lifestyle to promote healthy blood pressure.
Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.