Normal Blood Pressure Range for Adults

By Elizabeth Streeter

A silent killer, high blood pressure can contribute to strokes and other heart conditions without any obvious symptoms. That's why it's important to check your blood pressure regularly and keep your blood pressure within normal range.

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A silent killer, high blood pressure can contribute to strokes and other heart conditions without any obvious symptoms. That's why it's important to check your blood pressure regularly and keep your blood pressure within normal range.

Identification

A sphygmomanometer, a device used to measure blood pressure, measures two levels when checking blood pressure: systolic and diastolic pressure. Systolic represents the upper number and diastolic represents the lower.

Normal Blood Pressure

The normal systolic blood pressure for an adult is below 120 mmHg. The normal diastolic blood pressure is below 80 mmHg.

Low Blood Pressure

Low blood pressure, also known as hypotension, occurs when your blood pressure drops below 90 mmHg (systolic) over 60 mmHg (diastolic). Without any symptoms, hypotension presents no problems. If dizziness or fainting develops, medical attention may be necessary.

Prehypertension

In 2003, the National Institutes of Health lowered the threshold for normal blood pressure from 130 mmHg (systolic) over 85 mmHg (diastolic). They created a new category called prehypertension. Adults with blood pressure from 120 to 139 systolic and 80 to 89 diastolic fall into this category.

Measurement Over Time

One higher-than-normal blood pressure reading does not mean you have hypertension.

Prevention/Solution

If you fall into a category that's higher than normal, lifestyle changes may lower blood pressure. Reducing alcohol consumption and increasing exercise are two of your options.

References

About the Author

Elizabeth Streeter has been writing professionally since 2000. She specializes in subjects ranging from how to live a happier life to potentially harmful food and drug-related interactions. Streeter has written for "Family Circle," "Woman's Day," "Natural Health" and "Fitness." Streeter holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition science from Auburn University and is currently working towards a Master of Arts in psychology.

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