Blood Pressure Chart – High, Low, Normal, Men, Women, Adults, Children

Do you know your blood pressure readings? Do you understand the implications of the readings? Get insight into the use of a blood pressure chart to understand the meaning of your readings.  Keep your blood pressure within the normal range to avoid unprecedented complication and eventualities. High blood pressure is now one of the main causes of fatalities in the world. However, very few people understand their blood pressure readings and the acceptable level of blood pressure.

Blood Pressure Reading Chart

A blood pressure chart or a blood pressure table is a diagram that represents various ranges of blood pressure readings. Each range that is represented has its meanings and implications. The main blood pressure reading classifications in a standard blood pressure chart are:

  • Low Blood Pressure readings range
  • Normal Blood Pressure readings range
  • Pre-high Blood Pressure readings  range
  • High Blood Pressure reading range

What Is a Blood Pressure Chart Used For?

With the help of a blood pressure chart, you are able to classify your blood pressure readings into the various categories as presented in the blood pressure chart.  This will help you to know the necessary measures you need to take to shift your blood pressure level to the normal blood pressure range, in case it is abnormal (low or high). If your blood pressure is normal, you will take measures to keep it within that range.

Many people who worry about their blood pressure levels can benefit by referring to a blood pressure chart or a high blood pressure chart to understand their conditions better. Monitor your blood pressure through regular check up by your doctor. You can also acquire a blood pressure monitoring device and monitor your blood pressure at home, which is more convenient.

Let us first discuss the meaning of blood pressure, how it is measured and how the readings are recorded. This will enable us to understand the blood pressure chart more easily and to be able to interpret and use it effectively.

What Is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure (BP) is the amount of force that blood exerts on the walls of the arteries as it circulates in the body. Arteries are the blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Blood pressure is initiated by the contraction and relaxation of the heart to circulate the blood through the body.

A lady having her blood pressure measured
Blood pressure measurement

Blood pressure is measured by a device called a blood pressure meter (also known as a sphygmomanometer). The unit of measurement is millimetres of mercury abbreviated as mmHg. Blood pressure is measured and recorded as two numbers, written as top number and a bottom number. The top number stands for systolic blood pressure while the bottom number stands for diastolic blood pressure.

For example, 120/80 mmHg (read as 120 over 80) means that the systolic blood pressure is 120 mmHg while the diastolic blood pressure is 80 mmHg.

Systolic Blood Pressure

The top number represents systolic blood pressure. This refers to the measurement of blood pressure when the heart beats. The heart beats when its muscles contract to push blood to rest of the body.  The top number is the higher of the two numbers since more pressure is exerted on the walls of the arteries when the heart contracts.

Diastolic Blood Pressure

The bottom number represents diastolic blood pressure.  This is the measurement of blood pressure when the heart relaxes between the beats.  The bottom number is the lower of the two numbers. This is because less pressure is exerted on the walls of the arteries when the heart relaxes.

Blood Pressure Chart for Adults

Most of the blood pressure charts that are available for use are for adults. It is probably because blood pressure problems tend to affect adults much more than children. The blood pressure chart for adults is as presented below.

A blood pressure chart for adults showing high, low and normal blood pressure
A blood pressure chart for adults showing high, low and normal blood pressure

Blood Pressure Chart for Men

Men use the blood pressure chart for adults, which is presented above.

Blood Pressure Chart for Women

Since there is negligible differences in blood pressure readings and implications between men and women, the same blood pressure chart used for men is also used for women.

In order to understand the implications of your blood pressure readings better and in detail, the blood pressure chart is broken into three parts. The parts are high blood pressure chart, low blood pressure chart and normal blood pressure chart.

High Blood Pressure Chart

A high blood pressure chart represents blood pressure ranges that are higher than normal blood pressure. You have high blood pressure if your readings range above 140/90 mmHg. The range represented in a high blood pressure chart can be classified into the four categories.

A high blood pressure chart
A high blood pressure chart
  1. High blood pressure stage 1 – the first stage of high blood pressure has pressure readings that range from 140/90 to 159/99 mmHg. Adopt a healthy lifestyle to lower your blood pressure, if your readings lie in this category. Seek your doctor’s advice in case you fail to lower your blood pressure within a month.
  2. High blood pressure stage 2 – the pressure readings in this stage lie between 160/100 and 179/109 mmHg. If your readings lie in this category, adopt a healthy lifestyle to lower your blood pressure,. See your doctor for advice and some medication plan.
  3. High blood pressure stage 3 – this stage has pressure readings which are between 180/110 and 210/120 mmHg. This is very dangerous blood pressure. Immediate treatment will be very necessary. Seek medical attention from your doctor immediately for emergency treatment.
  4. High blood pressure stage 4 – the pressure readings in this stage are greater than 210/120 mmHg. This is extremely dangerous blood pressure. It calls for immediate emergency care. Seek medical attention from your doctor immediately for emergency treatment.

High blood pressure stages 3 and 4 represent the hypersensitive crisis. A hypertensive crisis represents severely elevated blood pressure whose readings are 180/110 or greater. This extremely elevated blood pressure level is usually reached within a short period of time. Hypertensive crisis can be categorised into either hypertensive urgency or hypertensive emergency depending on whether the condition is accompanied by organ damage or not

  • Hypertensive urgency is hypertension which is not accompanied by evident organ damage. The elevated blood pressure can be treated with oral medications so that the BP is lowered gradually within one to two days.
  • Hypertensive emergency (also known as malignant hypertension or accelerated hypertension) is hypertension which is accompanied by serious damage to one or more body organs, particularly the brain, kidney, heart and lungs. Emergency treatment should be administered to slowly lower the blood pressure within minutes or a just few hours.

Low Blood Pressure Chart

A low blood pressure chart represents ranges that are lower than normal blood pressure. If your blood pressure ranges below 90/60 mmHg, then you have low blood pressure. The ranges represented in a low blood pressure chart can put into three categories.

A low blood pressure chart
A low blood pressure chart
  1. Low blood pressure (moderate hypotension) – If you have readings that range from 89/59 to 70/40 mmHg, you belong to this category. . Adopt healthy lifestyle that will help you increase your blood pressure to optimum range and talk to your doctor for further advice.
  2. Too low blood pressure (severe hypotension) – readings that range between 69/39 and 50/35 mmHg are classified as too low blood pressure. Immediately see your doctor for advice and emergency treatment.
  3. Extremely low blood pressure (extremely severe hypotension) – you belong to this category in case your blood pressure numbers are below 50/35 mmHg. Go to your doctor immediately for emergency treatment.

Severe low blood pressure and extremely severe high blood pressure categories are termed dangerously low blood pressure and demand immediate attention.

Normal Blood Pressure Chart

The normal blood pressure chart stands for healthy ranges. It is comprised of blood pressure numbers that are between and including 90/60 and 129/84 mmHg. A normal blood pressure composed of three categories.

A normal blood pressure chart
A normal blood pressure chart
  1. High normal blood pressure – in case you have readings that range between 121/81 and 129/84 mmHg inclusive, your blood pressure is taken to be normal even though it is edging to the high blood pressure range. If your readings are in this category adopt a healthy lifestyle to decrease it to normal range.
  2. Normal blood pressure (Ideal blood pressure) – this blood pressure readings are desired by everybody. This readings are between 100/65 to 120/80 mmHg inclusive. Numbers that lie in this category are considered to represent perfect blood pressure Maintain a healthy lifestyle to keep your blood pressure readings within this range.
  3. Low normal blood pressure – Readings between 90/60 and 99/64 are considered to be normal blood pressure although they are on the lower side. Adopt healthy lifestyle that will help you slightly increase your blood pressure.

Blood Pressure Chart by Age

Blood pressure readings may differ depending on the person’s health, age, weight or gender. It may also fluctuate during certain times of the day. Understanding the blood pressure differences for different age groups is very important. It may help you to know whether you have normal high or low blood pressure. It may also be instrumental in determining whether a given individual is at risk of developing High blood pressure.

The blood pressure readings for children are different from those of adults. In the same way, the blood pressure readings differ slightly among children and also among adults according to their age. The blood pressure chart below summarizes these differences, giving the approximate ranges in which adult’s and children’s normal blood pressure is expected to lie.

A blood pressure chart by age
A blood pressure chart by age

Note that blood pressure readings for girls are slightly higher than those for boys by a margin of about 1 to 3 in every age bracket.

Blood Pressure Chart by Age and Height

There are even more comprehensive blood pressure charts which give detailed information that not only reflect the age but also the weight of the person’s expected blood pressure readings.

Factors That May Affect Your Blood Pressure Readings

There are physiological, emotional and environmental factors which can cause your blood pressure increase or decrease temporarily throughout the day.  So no single blood pressure reading is to be considered reliable. You need to take the readings at different times of day to determine the average blood pressure.  So what is important is your average blood pressure over the time of the day.

Some of the factors which may affect your blood pressure reading temporarily include:

  • Temperature – Blood pressure tend to increase when your body temperature is low. So your blood pressure may be higher if the doctor’s office is cold as he takes the measurements.
  • Physical activity – Physical activity tends to increase your body temperature. You need to rest enough before taking the blood pressure measurement in case you were involved in any physical activity like walking, running and so on.
  • Stress – Stress can cause large blood pressure increase. Be sure that you are not in a stressful state before you take blood pressure measurements.
  • Anxiety – Just like stress, anxiety can also rise your body temperature. This is more so since you might even become anxious about your blood pressure reading outcome.
  • Certain medications – If you take your blood pressure readings after using certain medications, your blood pressure may reflect a higher or lower reading caused by the medications
  • Certain foods – Certain foods, including coffee which contains caffeine, are also known to cause blood pressure to increase. This may affect your readings in case you just use them before taking your blood pressure measurement.
  • Tobacco – Tobacco products, whether smoked or smokeless, contain nicotine which temporarily raises your blood pressure. So, avoid tobacco at least 30 minutes before you take your blood pressure
  • Alcohol – Alcohol causes your blood pressure to raise. So keep off alcohol for at least 30 minutes before having your blood pressure taken.

Blood Pressure Chart Pdf

Pdf file format of blood pressure charts are available online for download. You can download the popular Vaughn’s graphical blood pressure chart online.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure or hypertension is more life-threatening as it much more common among the population. For example, about one in every three American adults have high blood pressure. “Anyone, including children, can develop high blood pressure” [Center and Disease Control and Prevention]. Hypertension increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, which are the leading causes of death in the United States. Therefore, it is important to briefly discuss the causes of hypertension. In addition, it is equally vital to discuss how you can lower your blood pressure in case you have it and how you can prevent developing high blood pressure.

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure is classified into two categories

  1. Primary high blood pressure (also called Essential Hypertension). This type of HBP develops gradually over the years as one grows older. It has no known causes.
  2. Secondary High Blood Pressure. It is caused by underlying issues like diseases, conditions, disorders and lifestyle. The causes include:
  • Smoking Tobacco contains adrenaline makes the heart to beat faster and raise the blood pressure.
  • Overweight – Obesity or overweight is a common reason for HBP.
  • Lack of exercise – Inadequate physical activity is a reason for high pressure.
  • Salt: Too much sodium in the blood stream causes your body to hold extra fluid which exerts more pressure on the blood vessels.
  • Alcohol – Heavy drinking especially on a daily basis could also be another cause of hypertension.
  • Stress – Stress may temporarily eleven your blood pressure until the stress goes away.
  • Genetics – Genetic variations may elevate blood pressure. “
  • Family history There is evidence that HBP runs in families.
  • Kidney disease -. Hypertension that is caused by kidney disease is called as renal hypertension [WEBMD].
  • Diabetes – Type 2 diabetes increases the narrowing of arteries, whim may lead to development of HBP.
  • Medications – Medications such as pain relievers, antidepressants are known to cause HBP.
  • Supplements – According to Mayo Clinic, “herbal supplements, including ginseng, licorice and ephedra” can be the cause hypertension.
  • Age – Statistics have shown that blood pressure increases with age.
  • Race/ethnicity – Studies show that your race and ethnicity is a risk factor for HBP.
  • Gender – Men are generally more likely to developing hypertension than women.

How to Lower High Blood Pressure Fast

Although a blood pressure chart may help you monitor your blood pressure level, knowing how to lower blood pressure or avoid its development is also necessary. Take the following measures to reduce blood pressure in case you are diagnosed with it.

  • Increase your Physical activity
  • Completely quit alcohol consumption
  • Quit or limit caffeine consumption
  • Avoid tobacco smoking or chewing
  • Cut down on your weight
  • Manage and reduce your stress
  • Eat plenty of foods that are known to lower hypertension
  • Avoid or moderate on foods which may increase hypertension
  • Medications prescribed by doctors

How to Prevent High Blood Pressure

Preventing high blood pressure is much easier than managing it. Luckily, most risk factors for hypertension can be controlled except Age, Gender, Race/ethnicity, and Family history.

There is poor awareness when it comes to HBP preventive measures. Embrace behaviors and lifestyle that will help you prevent high blood pressure.  Some of the ways to prevent it include:

  • Eat a healthy diet – Include potassium and magnesium rich foods and eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet.
  • Reduce salt consumption – Avoid taking too much salt in your diet
  • Reducing caffeine consumption – Coffee contains caffeine which may elevate your blood pressure.
  • Maintaining healthy weight – Avoid obesity through regular exercise and healthy diet.
  • Exercising regularly –This will keep you physically fit. Exercise for at least 30 minutes for at least 5 days a week.
  • Avoiding tobacco – Quit smoking or chewing tobacco. Equally, avoid tobacco smoke from smokers (avoid being a secondary smoker).
  • Drinking moderately – Quit drinking or limit the amount of alcohol that you consume. Learn how to quit drinking easily. Take a single drink occasionally if you have to.
  • Managing stress – Stress may be is part of life. However you can manage it.
  • Monitoring your blood pressure – check your blood pressure throughout in order notice any anomaly early enough to take measures to deal with it.
  • Treating underlying diseases and conditions – Treat and prevent diabetes, kidney disease, high cholesterol and any other condition that may cause hypertension.

References and Sources

  1. http://www.vaughns-1-pagers.com/medicine/blood-pressure.htm
  2. http://www.med-health.net/Blood-Pressure-Chart.html
  3. http://www.bloodpressureuk.org/BloodPressureandyou/Thebasics/Bloodpressurechart
  4. http://www.disabled-world.com/artman/publish/bloodpressurechart.shtml
  5. http://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/faqs.htm
  6. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/in-depth/blood-pressure/art-20050982

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