What is normal blood pressure?

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A female doctor or nurse checking the blood pressure of a patient

When we talk about hypertension or hypotension, we refer to chronic diseases that affect the blood flow of the veins, which causes the blood flow pressure to increase or decrease, respectively, causing the walls of the veins to contract or expand by the speed of the blood. This is when we talk about high or low blood pressure.

The values of blood pressure are different in each person, for example when we talk about the elderly population it is normal that they are more prone to suffer from arterial hypertension, since with the passage of time the arteries harden.

According to statistics, in the USA, 67% of people over 60 years old have high blood pressure

So, what is the normal blood pressure in each age range? Although for some people there are different values, each one is within a defined age range for each population, from which the normality of the population can be determined. This can be defined by means of the daily consultation of blood pressure, which having a control we can know when there is an alteration or if it is within normality.

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How can we measure blood pressure to know what the normal pressure is?

Blood pressure measurement

For people who want to learn to take a routine control of blood pressure is important to be with an empty stomach, not having taken any type of drink with caffeine and sugar or any medication. You can take it either in the morning before breakfast or in the evening after dinner and after a respective half-hour rest. It is also important to have a device that helps you measure systolic and diastolic blood pressure, which can be done with a digital or manual sphygmomanometer (blood pressure monitor).

Another detail that is important to know when calculating the normal pressure is to know what the systolic and diastolic pressure are. The systolic pressure is the highest value in the pressure measurement (measured in mmHg), which is determined when the blood hits the walls of the veins, thus exerting a greater pressure of blood flow, when the heart opens its valves to allow the passage of blood through the body. The diastolic pressure is the lowest value in the measurement of the pressure (also measured in mmHg) and is determined when the valves of the heart close, going to rest and preventing the passage of blood. This is called diastole. In this way, the values of blood pressure are determined.

If you have the digital one in use, you should place the bracelet on the left arm preferably and it should be 2 to 3 centimeters above the elbow, the arm should be in a position with the palm facing upwards and then the bracelet should be tightened, so that it is not so loose or strong. After that, the arm should rest on a table or a flat surface so that the arm is at the same level as the heart, then turn on the blood pressure monitor, which will begin to tighten the cuff to measure the pressure. Once ready, you will begin to measure the pulse, which will only take a few minutes.

You may be interested in a complete article with video about… How to correctly measure blood pressure?

If you have a manual sphygmomanometer, the way you can take the pressure is the same, however, it has an air pump that by pressing it several times will increase the grip on the bracelet. The stethoscope must be used, which may or may not be included, which will help determine the pulse. When placing the bracelet you must place the stethoscope under it and operate the air pump until the meter reaches 180 mmHg or until you hear nothing through the stethoscope; then start to open the valve, releasing a little air, until you hear the first sound of the pulse you should mark that as the first value of the (systolic) pressure, and you continue emptying until you stop hearing any sound, which indicates at that time the pressure gauge should mark as the second value of the pressure (diastolic). By joining both values then you have a full blood pressure.

Using the manual sphygmomanometer is not very simple (besides it must be calibrated frequently), so it must be used by someone with knowledge in nursing or medicine who can determine the exact moment to mark the values in the manometer.

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What is normal blood pressure in children?

Determining blood pressure in children is very important, because hypertension or hypotension are diseases that do not respect age, so being able to detect them in time would help maintain their health and provide them with a better quality of life. We can define a child as hypertensive if he has blood pressure values above 100(Systolic pressure) and greater than 60 (Diastolic pressure). But this can vary according to the age of the child, because of this we have a defined chart that shows the values of high blood pressure in children:

High blood pressure in children chart

It is also possible that the blood pressure of the infants is under the range, which should not show concern if the systolic pressure is at 90 and 60 diastolic level, if there are no symptoms of discomfort or in the routine consultation this measure it is maintained, then we can say that it is a normal value level for the child. In case of having some physical discomforts or serious dizziness where the loss of vision or knowledge is found, then the child may suffer from hypotension (low blood pressure) and must resort to a doctor to be checked.

What is the normal blood pressure in adolescents?

For an age ranging from 12 to 15 years, there are defined values between 105 to 110 (mmHg) in the systolic pressure and in the case of the diastolic pressure we have values of 70 to 80 (mmHg), these being the levels normal most frequent. If the adolescent has lower levels than those mentioned above or higher than 120/85 (mmHg), it is important to take this into account and go to a doctor who helps rule out a possible development of either high blood pressure or hypotension and putting the adolescent in treatment or performing a routine that helps him/her maintain the value of a normal pressure.

In case the adolescent has any of these conditions he/she must maintain an active lifestyle, which should be instructed in a balanced diet according to his age to avoid obesity and acquire all necessary nutrients.

Did you know that…? There have been cases in adolescents who suffer high blood pressure who get to suffer heart attacks at an early age.

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Normal blood pressure in adults

The average blood pressure in an adult can be defined as normal with values between 90/60 mmHg and 140/90 mmHg, although presenting values of systolic pressure of 130 to 140 and 85 to 89 of diastolic pressure can be signs of a pre – Hypertension, which is why you should monitor your blood pressure frequently and take the necessary actions to avoid possible hypertension (balanced diet, frequent exercise, avoid smoking, do not consume too much alcohol).

During the ages of 18 to 40 it is normal for the adult to suffer from situations that cause anxiety, stress, moments of tension, which can lead to high blood pressure that can become more severe over time and if it’s not controlled and determined in time, it can cause serious injuries such as heart failure, strokes or end in death caused by heart attacks.

Here is a table where you can see the different ranges of blood pressure for adults, identify in what range is your blood pressure and know if you have some type of abnormality such as hypertension or hypotension:

Blood Pressure Chart
Blood pressure chart (in adults)

Blood pressure in the elderly

As we have talked about in previous points, the elderly population is the most prone to suffer from hypertension, because their body has become more fragile due to age and by a minimal alteration may suffer from aggressive symptoms that affect their health.

In determining scales it has been determined that the blood pressure of this population is usually found at 160 mmHg if they are 60 years old and in the case of those who are 70 to 80 years old 170 mmHg so that these figures in themselves can determine an extreme case of hypertension, however, if in the daily control these values are maintained, then it is important to recommend that they lower and maintain a low blood pressure to these exposed measures, by means of medications or other treatments (like home remedies).

What is the normal blood pressure in pregnant women?

High blood pressure in pregnancy

The woman in gestation period must maintain a blood pressure of 120 mmHg, which is her average normal measurement and the normal-high is just over 130 mmHg. The woman is usually prone to suffer from high blood pressure when she is pregnant, due to the sensitivity of the body to keep the developing fetus. Hypertension can develop from the 20th week of pregnancy, so it is normal at that stage, however it does not mean that it shouldn’t be taken into account.

In order for the values to be maintained in that same number it’s important to have the blood pressure under constant review, due to the danger that it can represent for the mother and the fetus if there is a rise in pressure which can’t be controlled; can suffer from a disease called preeclampsia, develop hypertension even when she’s not hypertensive, and termination of pregnancy, in which it can ultimately lead to death; for both the mother and the fetus.


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