Understanding Blood Pressure Readings

There are two numbers create a blood pressure reading:

 

  • Systolic Pressure: This is the first number (the one on top when you're looking at a reading) – it indicates the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats and pumps out blood.

  • Diastolic pressure: This is the second number (the one on the bottom) – it is the reading of the pressure in your arteries between heart beats.

 

Understanding your blood pressure readings:

 

  • Healthy: A healthy blood pressure reading is less than 120/80.

  • Elevated: The systolic number is between 120 and 129, and the diastolic number is less than 80. (Note: Medication is not usually necessary; however, lifestyle and diet changes are recommended to help reduce your blood pressure.) 

  • Stage 1 hypertension: The systolic number is between 130 and 139, or the diastolic number is between 80 and 89.

  • Stage 2 hypertension: The systolic number is 140 or higher, or the diastolic number is 90 or higher.

  • Hypertensive crisis: The systolic number is over 180, or the diastolic number is over 120. Blood pressure in this range usually requires urgent medical attention. 

Please Remember: If you experience symptoms such as chest pains, headaches, shortness of breath, or visual changes and your blood pressure is over 180, please go to your nearest hospital emergency room immediately!