What is the Normal Blood Pressure Range?

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  • Written By: Anna T.
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 22 September 2019
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In most cases, the normal blood pressure range measures 120/80 or less. Generally speaking, people who are older tend to have higher blood pressure levels than people who are younger. Levels that are above 120/80 but below 140/90 are still usually within the normal blood pressure range, but are thought to be on the high end of normal. When blood pressure levels exceed 140/90, this is considered high blood pressure, also called hypertension. People with high blood pressure are at greater risk for heart problems and stroke, and may need to begin medication to keep their levels within the normal range.

The first number used in measuring blood pressure range levels represents systolic pressure. This measures the pressure inside the vessels as blood is pumped through them from the heart. The second number represents diastolic pressure, which indicates the pressure within the vessels in between heartbeats before blood is pushed through. The diastolic number should always be smaller than the systolic number because it is measured when the heart is resting and not actively pumping blood. As a person gets older, his or her veins lose a lot of their flexibility, which is why younger people tend to have lower blood pressure.


A person with borderline hypertension almost never has any symptoms at all. When a person has hypertension, he or she might have some symptoms, but they will usually not be severe enough for the person to realize anything is wrong. If symptoms are experienced, they might include headache, blurred vision, and occasionally nausea. High blood pressure is frequently referred to as being a silent killer because most people don't know they have it. This is one of the reasons why doctors almost always measure blood pressure each time a person comes in, even if the patient's reasons for being there are related to some other problem.

When a patient has a high blood pressure reading, doctors will typically ask several questions about the activity of the patient for that day in case the high reading might be related to something else, like increased physical activity or nervousness. In most cases, the patient may be asked to come back in to have the blood pressure checked again. If the levels are consistently measuring high, a hypertension diagnosis might be made. Patients who have a blood pressure range that is on the high end but not quite hypertension may be advised to check their own blood pressure every day and to make certain lifestyle changes that might help prevent hypertension from developing.



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Post 2

I had an injury on the job one time and my boss sent me over to a walk-in clinic on the other side of the mall. They hooked me up to an automatic blood pressure machine and it was 150/90. They took it again ten minutes later and it was perfectly normal, 120/80. The doctor said it was probably a case of white coat hypertension, since I was already upset about the deep cut on my finger and the sight of a white coat made me more anxious.

Post 1

I wasn't exactly an athlete when I was a teenager, but my blood pressure readings were almost always in the normal blood pressure range, or even a little lower at times. I just assumed it would stay like that when I got older, since I didn't have any of the bad habits that usually cause high blood pressure.

When I was in my early 30s, I tried one of those free blood pressure machines at a pharmacy, and the reading was 152/100. I thought the machine must be broken. I did it again the next day and it was 160/95. I thought two high blood pressure readings in a row couldn't be good. I made an appointment with a doctor and he diagnosed me with hypertension. I've been doing well with medication and relaxation exercises, but it still runs on the high side of normal.

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