Normal Blood Pressure Range Adults

blood pressure gauge

What is the normal blood pressure range in adults?

Below is a chart of the various blood pressure ranges – afterwards, we go into the details of what it means to you.

If you are concerned you might have high blood pressure, see The Signs of High Blood Pressure.

First entry is systolic pressure/second diastolic

Optimal blood pressure: 120/80

Normal: 120-129/80-84

High Normal: 130-139/85-89

Grade 1 hypertension: 140-159/90-94

Grade 2 hypertension: 160-179/100-109

Grade 3 hypertension: >180/>110

Isolated: >140/<90

What does it matter?

Blood pressure is the measure of how much pressure your blood puts against the various blood vessels of your body.  It is important because if it is too high, your body, and especially your heart, will slowly start to become damaged.

The damage this causes takes a lot of time to happen but can be very serious – it can lead to issues like coronary artery disease, stroke and kidney damage, among other things.

Heart disease is the single worst killer of people in the United States.

What causes high blood pressure?

The blood in your body is regulated in many ways.  How thick it is, what chemicals make it up, how fast the heart pumps it out – these are just some of the factors that play a role in blood pressure.  With time, and especially as we age, the delicate balance becomes upset, and high blood pressure can become an issue.

How is high blood pressure treated?

There are two typical ways to treat blood pressure – lifestyle changes or medication.

Lifestyle changes can consist of losing weight, drinking less alcohol and getting exercise.  Dietary changes can also help lower blood pressure, like consuming less salt and fats and eating more fruits and vegetables.

There are many medications that help treat blood pressure.  The most commonly used are the ace inhibitors, the beta blockers, the calcium channels blockers, and diuretics (easily remembered by the mnemonic ABCD).

For more ideas in general, see How to Lower Blood Pressure.  It tells you what are the most common ways to lower blood pressure that tend to work well.

Also, Foods that Lower Blood Pressure may be of interest.  It discusses which foods might lower your blood pressure – and which might raise it.

What do systolic and diastolic mean?

Systolic is when your heart has just made a beat.  Blood is surging through your body and so your blood pressure is higher.

Diastolic is the moment after the beat when the blood in your body is not under as much of a push, so to speak, and is so lower.

How is blood pressure tested?

There are a variety of ways to test blood pressure.  If you are testing in your home, it may be best to use an electric, automated upper arm band test.  This is because it takes little training to use and will give fairly accurate results.

Other tests like wrist and finger measurements are subject to being slightly inaccurate.  The way you hold or position your arm can complicate the reading and it is generally easier to use an upper arm band.

Sometimes you might feel nervous before getting your blood pressure tested which can increase it.  It is best to rest for a few minutes before taking your pressure.  Some doctors even recommend not paying attention to the result you get on the first day of testing your blood pressure because it might not be so accurate.

There is such a thing as the “white coat” effect.  This happens when you see a doctor and, because he or she is an authoritative figure, your blood pressure goes up and is higher than it would normally be.  To help avoid this, some doctors have the nurse take your blood pressure when you are relaxed.

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  4. 20 Things You Didn’t Know About Alcohol
  5. The Best Way to Lose Weight

Numbers taken from

1) ESH-ESC Guidelines for the Management of Hypertension
2) Self-Measurement of Blood Pressure at Home in the Management of Hypertension

30 thoughts on “Normal Blood Pressure Range Adults

  1. Hello, It seems to me that when I was younger, in the military, the healthy BP was 140/88 or so.
    A few years ago the healthy level was decreased to 120/80… why is that? (to sell drugs?)
    I am seventy two years of age and my BP is consistently close to 140/90 and has been for fifty years. My new doctor said that that is too high and prescribed LISINOPRIL. I am hesitant to take it because of side effects and dependency problems. I’m in good health, average weight for my height and exercise three times per week.
    does anyone have an opinion about this and should I take the meds?

  2. I took blood pressure with a omron automatic blood preesureunit it is 132 over 59 im worried about the diastolic is it ok

  3. just took a arm band blood pressure test and got 113/74 i find that in a good range. Though my heart rate was 90 that doesn’t make sense.

  4. My blood pressure was 110/75
    Is this ok?
    PS: I have orthostatic hypotension and I am always dizzy
    Last year I lost about 50 pounds.

  5. if you get stressed by fighting every dai in job. driving,or just fighting with your girl friend or wife. or some finacila trouble or peoples ilness around you that you like etc…. Better guidance is:: please go to gym , relax and go fishing or pratice something you like a lot . rememebr money at this time is onough better care about your life……..stand and do it right now..!!! dont care more about nobody or problem forget all this care about your life remember we can just stay in this world one time only….
    so expat to you……..exted your parmanence here….

  6. I just took my blood pressure with a wristtech /wrist blood pressure monitor and got a reading of 123/69. with a heart rate of 62 I would likt to know if that is bad and if it is, how bad is it .

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