What is a Blood Pressure Chart?

Keith Koons

A blood pressure chart is a table that shows a person’s overall risk for hypertension or the level of hypertension present based on a blood pressure reading. As blood pressure increases, so does the risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, and vision damage. When a patient’s measurements rise above what experts refer to as the pre-hypertension level, the risks literally double. By referring to a blood pressure chart, doctors are able to determine more accurately the appropriate treatments to keep patients within safe levels.

A doctor checking a patient's blood pressure.
A doctor checking a patient's blood pressure.

A blood pressure reading is made up of two figures: the systolic pressure is when the heart contracts to pump blood, and diastolic pressure is when the heart relaxes to release blood. The normal blood pressure reading in adults is 120/80. Anything below this level is referred to as low blood pressure, while anything above is high blood pressure, both of which can be dangerous. Depending on factors like gender, age, and overall health, normal blood pressure may differ from person to person, and these variances can be determined by using a blood pressure calculator.

A medical professional taking a person's blood pressure.
A medical professional taking a person's blood pressure.

Repeated measurements of high blood pressure are referred to as chronic hypertension, which is often thought of by doctors as a silent killer. For this reason, patients at-risk should check their blood pressure regularly and compare the results to a blood pressure chart. Since blood pressure fluctuates depending on various eating and exercise activities, it is recommended to check it multiple times per day. These readings should be recorded in a blood pressure log with the date, time, and notes on the patient’s condition when each reading was made. Doctors rely on the accuracy of the information in this blood pressure log when they refer to the blood pressure chart for diagnosis.

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Also, a blood pressure chart helps doctors determine whether patients simply require a change in lifestyle in pre-hypertensive cases or drug therapy for stage 1 and 2 hypertensive cases. The type, strength, and dosage of the medicine administered depend on the patient’s repeated blood pressure readings; however, drugs for hypertension have been known to cause serious side effects if improperly administered. In situations where drug treatment is believed unnecessary, physicians will normally recommend plenty of exercise combined with a healthy diet to reduce blood pressure levels naturally.

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