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Blood Pressure Basics – Your Numbers and Readings

August 23rd, 2014 | Posted by Aris Eff in Being Prepared | Circulatory Emergency - (Comments Off on Blood Pressure Basics – Your Numbers and Readings)

Understanding an individual’s blood pressure readings might seem complicated at a first glance, but it’s not. All you need to do is to familiarize what the upper and lower number means what these two indicate. By understanding what these readings mean, you can identify if a person is having a low or high blood pressure, as well as if a person’s blood pressure is within the healthy range or not.

What Does The Top Number Indicate?

Systolic is the number located at the top of a blood pressure reading. Systolic number is created by the force of the blood pushed from the heart through the different parts of the body. The normal systolic number is 120 and below. When this number increases more than 120, the person is likely at risk of having different forms of hypertension – a systolic that reaches 121 to 139 means that the person has pre-hypertension; systolic reading of 140 to 159 is considered as stage I hypertension; and systolic of 160 and above is called as stage II hypertension.

What Does the Lower Number Indicate?

Diastolic is the number at the bottom of the reading. Diastolic pressure is created by the arterial pressure that happens when the heart is at rest in between beats. The normal diastolic pressure is 80 and below. If the systolic reaches 81 to 89, it is considered pre-hypertension, but if it goes beyond 89, it is already considered as high blood pressure or hypertension.

Should you worry if your blood pressure reaches pre-hypertension?

Pre-hypertension, or the systolic between 121 and 139 and diastolic between 81 and 89, is a red flag for high blood pressure or hypertension. Although pre-hypertension is not technically a high blood pressure, if you are not going to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you are likely to end up having high blood pressure eventually. Basically, pre-hypertension should serve as a warning sign that you should start taking up healthy lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise.

If your blood pressure is normal, however, it does not mean that you should not engage in healthy lifestyle. As a matter of fact, adopting to or maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a must for adults, because it can likely delay or prevent the onset of hypertension, as well as other health problems related to high blood pressure, such as diabetes and kidney diseases.

Related Video on Blood Pressure Reading:


“Blood Pressure Chart.” Mayo Clinic. Retrieved online on August 14, 2014 from

“Understanding Blood Pressure Readings.” American Heart Association. Retrieved online on August 14, 2014 from

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