Blood pressure refers to the force at which blood pushes against the walls of your arteries. Maintaining healthy blood pressure is essential, as abnormal blood pressure levels can lead to various health issues such as stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure.
This article will explore the normal blood pressure ranges by age, discuss different blood pressure categories, and provide tips to maintain optimal blood pressure levels.
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Blood Pressure Categories and Their Numerical Values
In general, blood pressure is expressed in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and is primarily recorded as two numbers: systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number).
In simpler terms, systolic pressure represents the force of blood in the arteries when the heart beats. Diastolic pressure measures the force when the heart is at rest between beats.
According to the recommendation of the American Heart Association, blood pressure can be classified into the following categories:
|Normal||Less than 120||Less than 80|
|Elevated||120–129||Less than 80|
|High Blood Pressure (Stage 1)||130–139||80–89|
|High Blood Pressure (Stage 2)||140 or higher||90 or higher|
|Hypertensive Crisis||Higher than 180||Higher than 120|
Blood Pressure Ranges by Age
Generally, blood pressure levels can vary depending on a person’s age, as the elasticity of blood vessels changes over time.
The following chart, as provided by The University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital and Baptist Health, illustrates the average normal blood pressure ranges by age:
|Age Group||Systolic Range||Diastolic Range|
|Newborns (up to 1 month)||60–90 mm Hg||20–60 mm Hg|
|Infants||87–105 mm Hg||53–66 mm Hg|
|Toddlers||95–105 mm Hg||53–66 mm Hg|
|Preschoolers||95–110 mm Hg||56–70 mm Hg|
|School-aged children||97–112 mm Hg||57–71 mm Hg|
|Adolescents||112–128 mm Hg||66–80 mm Hg|
Adult Blood Pressure Averages by Age and Gender
|Age & Gender||Average Blood Pressure|
|Women (18-39)||110/68 mm Hg|
|Men (18-39)||119/70 mm Hg|
|Women (40-59)||122/74 mm Hg|
|Men (40-59)||124/77 mm Hg|
|Women (60+)||139/68 mm Hg|
|Men (60+)||133/69 mm Hg|
Please note that these are average values, and individual blood pressure levels may vary. Consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice.
Precautions and Preventative Measures
To maintain healthy blood pressure levels, you should:
- Monitor regularly: Regularly check your blood pressure to detect any changes.
- Exercise: Engage in physical activity to strengthen your heart.
- Eat well: Consume a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Limit salt: Reduce your sodium intake to avoid raising blood pressure.
- Manage stress: Practice relaxation techniques to keep stress levels under control.
Frequently Asked Questions about Blood Pressure
Systolic blood pressure refers to the highest pressure when your heart is beating and pumping blood, while diastolic blood pressure is the lowest pressure when your heart is at rest between beats. Both values are essential in determining your overall blood pressure health.
You should consult your healthcare provider for personalized recommendations on how often to check your blood pressure. Generally, if you have normal blood pressure, you might be advised to check it once every two years. However, if you have high blood pressure or other health concerns, you may need to monitor it more frequently.
High blood pressure (hypertension) often has no visible symptoms, which is why it’s known as a “silent killer.” On the other hand, low blood pressure (hypotension) can cause symptoms like dizziness, fainting, and fatigue. If you experience these symptoms, consult your healthcare provider for further evaluation.
To lower high blood pressure, you can make lifestyle changes, such as exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, limiting sodium intake, managing stress, and avoiding tobacco. In some cases, your healthcare provider may prescribe medication to help lower your blood pressure.
Yes, blood pressure can fluctuate throughout the day due to various factors, including physical activity, stress, and caffeine intake. It’s essential to measure your blood pressure at the same time each day and under similar conditions to ensure accurate readings.