Do you know your blood pressure?

Red Heart set beside a stethescopeThis blood pressure chart from the Mayo Clinic can help you figure out if your blood pressure is at a healthy level or if you’ll need to take some steps to improve your numbers.

A total blood pressure reading is determined by measuring the systolic and diastolic blood pressures.

  • Systolic blood pressure, the top number, measures the force the heart exerts on the walls of the arteries each time it beats.
  • Diastolic blood pressure, the bottom number, measures the force the heart exerts on the walls of the arteries in between beats.

 

Below 120 and Below 80 Normal blood pressure Maintain or adopt a healthy lifestyle.
120-129 and Below 80 Elevated blood pressure Maintain or adopt a healthy lifestyle.
130-139 or 80-89 Stage 1 high blood pressure (hypertension) Maintain or adopt a healthy lifestyle. Talk to your provider about taking one or more medications.
140 or higher or 90 or higher Stage 2 high blood pressure (hypertension) Maintain or adopt a healthy lifestyle. Talk to your provider about taking more than one medication.

A blood pressure measurement over 180/120 mm Hg is called a hypertensive emergency or crisis. Seek emergency medical help for anyone with these blood pressure numbers.

If you are an adult with a 10% risk of developing cardiovascular disease in the next 10 years, or if you have chronic kidney disease, diabetes or coronary artery disease, your treatment goal is typically less than 130/80 mm Hg. If you’re a healthy adult age 65 or older, your treatment goal also is usually less than 130/80 mm Hg.

If your blood pressure is OK, maintaining or adopting a healthy lifestyle can prevent or delay the onset of high blood pressure or other health problems. If your blood pressure is high, a healthy lifestyle — oftentimes along with medication — can help bring it under control and reduce your risk of life-threatening complications.

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