Blood Pressure

Understanding Blood Pressure Readings

The pumping of the heart makes the blood flow through the blood vessels in the body. The pressure exerted on the walls of the arteries, as the blood makes its way through the blood vessels in the body, is known as blood pressure (BP). The reading comprises two numbers, namely, the systolic and diastolic BP. The former is measured when the heart beats, while the latter is measured in the next split second when the heart is at rest. Thus, a BP reading always gives two numbers, a higher and lower number (in that order). The systolic rate is understandably higher, as greater pressure falls on the walls of the artery when the heart beats. It is essential to measure both these numbers as one should know the impact of both the pressures.

Optimum Blood Pressure Chart

The normal BP readings remain the same for all ages and sexes. Hence, the following high and low blood pressure readings apply to all the people.

Systolic BP/Diastolic BP Category
90 – 110/60 – 69 Normal
120 – 139/80 – 89 Prehypertension
140 – 159/90 – 99 Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) Stage 1
160 – 200/100 – 120 Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) Stage 2
>200/>120 Very High (a case of emergency)

Dangers of High Blood Pressure

Many people fear the problem of a high blood pressure, commonly known as hypertension. One of the most worrisome things about hypertension is that the symptoms are not very obvious, hence it has earned the sobriquet – the silent killer. The symptoms of hypertension are quite veiled and include headache, dizziness, fatigue, and pounding in the chest; neck; and ears. Due to an increased pressure on the heart to pump, the person suffers a high risk of developing heart diseases or a stroke. A higher than normal BP can be controlled with the combination of a healthy, low-sodium & low-fat diet, and adequate exercise.

As you can see, the normal rate is the same for all ages. The symptoms of a high BP may not always show up, hence it is essential to be regular in taking BP readings to ensure that it remains in the normal range.

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