What is the normal range for blood pressure?
Blood Pressure – Measured And Defined
The sphygmomanometer readings obtained by physicians determines a person’s blood pressure or BP, but what actually is the normal range for blood pressure?
Blood pressure can be defined in the simplest terms as the pressure exerted by the blood pumped out of and back into the heart on the walls of the blood vessels. The BP readings are composed of two measurements: the systolic and diastolic pressures. These two numbers are the bases in ascertaining whether a person’s BP falls within the normal range for blood pressure.
The normal range for blood pressure differs according to age, where older subjects have usually higher blood pressure reading because the blood vessels deteriorates and become less elastic through age. The normal range for blood pressure can also be dependent on the gender of the subject. Men have higher risks of incurring high blood pressure than women. Meanwhile, pregnant women usually have higher blood pressure readings than non-pregnant women.
Blood Pressure – Classifications
Several classification systems have been devised in order to determine the normal range of blood pressure and whether or not the BP readings may indicate unhealthy BP levels. The most common and widely used classification system is the one devised by the American Heart Association (AHA).
In the AHA classification system, a person’s BP falls within the normal range for blood pressure if BP readings for systole are within the 90/140 mmHg range and the readings for diastole falls within 60-90 mmHg. A person has a low blood pressure or hypotension if his or her blood pressure reading falls below 90/60 mmHg, while a person suffers from high blood pressure or hypertension if his blood pressure reading exceeds 140/90 mmHg. However, it has been known that risks of obtaining heart diseases steps up when the BP reading is greater than 115/75 mmHg.
The configuration for the different levels of blood pressure is incorporated into a helpful visual tool called the blood pressure chart, which can be used even when obtaining the blood pressure is done alone, even at home.
The numbers in the blood pressure readings, of course, are not merely numbers. Strictly speaking, the systolic pressure refers to the pressure exerted by circulating blood on blood vessel walls as the blood is pumped out of the heart. It is the highest blood pressure measurement. The diastolic pressure on the other hand, is the pressure exerted by circulating blood on the walls of the blood vessels as the blood is pumped back into the heart. It is the lowest blood pressure measurement.
Blood Pressure – Importance Of Being In The Normal Range
Since a consistently very low or very high blood pressure reading, or an erratic blood pressure reading, are indicative of an unhealthy cardiovascular system which, if not prevented can lead to severe heart and blood vessel diseases such as stroke and thrombosis, it is imperative that a person keep his BP readings within the normal range for blood pressure.
As hypertension and other heart diseases are primarily lifestyle diseases caused by several factors such as stress, diet and amount of sleep, maintaining a BP reading within the normal range for blood pressure is tantamount to sustaining a healthy and active lifestyle.