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Blood Pressure Guidelines Back

What is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is the pressure of the flowing blood against the walls of the arteries. When the heart beats, it pumps out blood into the arteries. The force against the walls of the arteries is called systolic pressure. When the heart is at rest, between beats, your blood pressure falls. The force is the diastolic pressure. The systolic pressure is always stated first. For example: 120/80, systolic pressure is 120 and diastolic is 80.Blood pressure is given as these two numbers.Blood pressure below 120 over 80 mmHg (millimeters of mercury) is considered optimal for adults. In America, standards recommended for diagnosis of childhood normal blood pressure or hypertension based on gender, age and height.

Normal blood pressure is defines as systolic and diastolic blood pressure below the 90th for age and sex.

Prehypertension in children is defined as a systolic or diastolic pressure equal to or greater than the 90th percentile but less than the 95th percentile.

Hypertension in the young is defined as systolic or diastolic blood pressure that is repeatedly above the 95th percentile for age and sex.

Mean Arterial Pressure (MAP) is the average pressure that occurs over the entire course of the blood pressure cycle (average arterial pressure during a single cardiac cycle) and is calculated by (2XSBP + DBP) divided by 3. This is a measure that takes into account both the peak and valley and is useful in monitoring patients especially in acute settings (a useful medical measurement that indicates both overall health and risk for developing various cardiovascular diseases). Its use in long term monitoring is less useful but it should be around 80 mHg.

MAP = (2DP + SP)/3

Normal pulse is 60 to 100.

Normal blood pressure levels:

Ideal blood pressure is a young adult to have a blood pressure that is at or below 120 over 80 (120/80 mm Hg) and greater than or equal to 90/60 mm Hg,a blood pressure between 120/80 mm Hg and 129/84 mm Hg is considered normal. Between 130/85 mm Hg and 139/89 mm Hg is considered a high-normal blood pressure.

High blood pressure:

High blood pressure is defined in an adult as a blood pressure greater than or equal to 140 mm Hg systolic pressure or greater than or equal to 90 mm Hg diastolic pressure.

Low blood pressure:

Low blood pressure is defined as below 90/60 mm Hg.

There is no universally accepted definition of hypotension (low blood pressure), but a systolic pressure below 99mmHg is usually regarded as hypotension.

Blood Pressure Chart Level


mmHg kPa mmHg kPa
50 - 90 6.7 - 12.0 35 - 60 4.7 - 8.0 Low Blood Pressure HYPOTENSION
91 - 120 12.1 - 16.0 61 - 80 8.1 - 10.7 Normal Blood Pressure
121 - 140 16.1 - 18.7 81 - 90 10.8 - 12.0 Prehypertension
141 - 160 18.8 - 21.3 91 - 100 12.1 - 13.3 Mild Stage 1 HYPERTENSION
161 - 180 21.5 - 24.0 101 - 110 13.5 - 14.7 Moderate Stage 2
181 - 210 24.1 - 28.0 111 - 120 14.8 - 16.0 Severe Stage 3
211 - 230 28.1 - 30.3 121 - 140 16.1 - 18.7 Very Severe Stage 4

* 1kPa = 7.5mmHg

* 1mmHg = 0.133kPa


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