What are normal blood pressure values?

Measuring blood pressure is one routine diagnostic test mainly to detect arterial hypertensiona chronic disease associated with high morbidity and mortality, especially in the so-called developed countries where it is usually a major public health problem.

Among its many effects, high blood pressure is a risk factor for strokes, myocardial infarction, heart failure and kidney problems that can lead to kidney failure. It also produces vision loss and sexual dysfunction.

Blood pressure has two components, systolic pressure or high pressure, and diastolic pressure or low pressure. In general, the values ​​considered normal are a maximum of 120 mmHg for high pressure and a maximum of 80 mmHg for low pressure. Above these values, the risk zone (prehypertension) would already be entered.

Ideal below 120-80

In general, blood pressure values ​​considered normal would be between 80 and 120 mmHg (millimeters of mercury) for the systolic pressuresometimes colloquially called "high blood pressure", and between 60 and 80 mmHg for the diastolic pressure, «low pressure». It is quite common for it to be measured in cmHg, which would be equivalent to a range of 8-12 for systolic pressure and 6-8 for diastolic pressure.

Readings above 120-80 would already be considered a prehypertensive stage. The diagnosis of chronic high blood pressure is done with values ​​greater than 140-90 maintained over timefor which measurements are usually carried out over a period of 4 to 6 weeks.

Hypertension ranges

For guidance purposes, blood pressure can be classified into the following ranges:

  1. hypotension: systolic pressure below 80 and/or diastolic pressure below 60.
  2. average/ideal: systolic pressure 80-120 and diastolic pressure 60-80.
  3. prehypertension: systolic pressure 120-139 and/or diastolic pressure 80-89.
  4. Grade 1 hypertension (HTN 1): systolic pressure 140-159 and/or diastolic pressure 90-99.
  5. Grade 2 hypertension (HTN 2): systolic pressure greater than 160 and/or diastolic pressure greater than 100.
  6. Hypertensive crisis: systolic pressure greater than 180 and/or diastolic pressure greater than 110.

blood pressure ranges

In normal pressure ranges, no therapeutic intervention is usually carried out, except for preventive measures. In patients with prehypertension, preventive measures are also taken that rarely include pharmacological treatment, but are based on changes in eating habits and lifestyle.

The AHT grade 1which occurs when the pressure remains above 140-159/90-99 mmHg, usually requires pharmacological treatment with antihypertensivesin addition to lifestyle changes. If grade 2 hypertension is reached, it is likely that a combination of several drugsalways under medical criteria and depending on the particular characteristics of the patient.

If the systolic blood pressure exceeds 180 mmHg or the diastolic pressure exceeds 110 mmHg, enter a hypertensive crisis which requires urgent medical attention.

What does blood pressure measure?

Blood pressure measures the pressure exerted by blood against the walls of the arteries. It is measured in millimeters of mercury, a unit of measurement that has practically fallen into disuse, except in the field of medicine. 1 mmHg is approximately equal to 133.32 Pa (Pascals) in the International System of Units.

To medically assess blood pressure, blood pressure readings are taken. maximum and minimum peaks that are produced during one heartbeat cyclethese two peaks are the systolic pressure and the diastolic pressure, since they occur during the systolic and diastolic phases, respectively:

  • systolic pressure: when the heart beats, its muscles contract (systole) and pump blood from inside the heart to the arteries. This causes a maximum peak of blood pressure known as systolic pressure. It should be below 120 mmHg; above 140 is considered hypertension.
  • diastolic pressure: measure the minimum pressure during the period of relaxation of the heart (diastole). It should be below 80 and above 90 is considered hypertension.

Which is more important?

It is very common that systolic pressure is given more attention and importance as a cardiovascular risk factor, since isolated systolic hypertension is the most common, especially after the age of 50. Most people experience a gradual rise in blood pressure as they age, so it is recommended that you check your blood pressure regularly from 50even after 40.

According to some studies, the risk of death from coronary ischemia in people aged 40 to 89 years doubles for every 20 mmHg increase in systolic pressure or for every 10 mmHg increase in diastolic pressure. Taking your blood pressure regularly can help detect hypertension early, but without forgetting that the final diagnosis must be made by a health professional.

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