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How to Read the SYS DIA Pulse

By Alexander Poirier ; Updated July 27, 2017

Personal blood pressure monitors allow you to check your blood pressure at any given time. When you use one of these monitors to check your blood pressure, the monitor displays two numbers. One of these numbers measures your systolic pressure, which is the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats, and one measures your diastolic pressure, which is the pressure in the arteries in between beats. If you want to read your systolic or diastolic pressure, you can do so by knowing what the various blood pressure levels mean.

Locate the systolic pressure reading on the blood pressure monitor. This numbers is usually labeled as "SYS," and is the top-most reading on the blood pressure monitor.

Determine where the systolic reading falls on the blood pressure scale. A normal systolic reading is below 120. A reading between 120 and 139 signifies prehypertension, a reading between 140 and 159 signifies Stage 1 hypertension, a reading of more that 160 signifies Stage 2 hypertension, and a reading of more than 180 signifies a hypertensive crisis. If your systolic pressure is over 180, you must seek emergency care immediately.

Locate the diastolic pressure reading on the blood pressure monitor. This numbers is usually labeled as "DIA," and is located directly below the systolic on the blood pressure monitor.

Determine where the diastolic reading falls on the blood pressure scale. A normal diastolic reading is below 80. A reading between 80 and 89 signifies prehypertension, a reading between 90 and 99 signifies Stage 1 hypertension, a reading of more that 100 signifies Stage 2 hypertension, and a reading of more than 110 signifies a hypertensive crisis. If your diastolic pressure is over 110, you must seek emergency care immediately.

Tip

Higher than normal and lower than normal blood pressure readings should be evaluated by your physician.

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