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Understanding Normal Blood Pressure Readings Across Different Ages: A Comprehensive Guide

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Zara Nwosu
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Understanding Normal Blood Pressure Readings Across Different Ages: A Comprehensive Guide

Understanding Normal Blood Pressure Readings Across Different Ages: A Comprehensive Guide

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If you've ever had your blood pressure taken, you probably have some familiarity with the numbers that come up. But what exactly do they mean and what should your blood pressure be according to your age? In this guide, we dissect the mysteries of blood pressure readings. Equip yourself with this vital health knowledge and take charge of your health today.

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What is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure refers to the pressure of circulating blood on the walls of blood vessels. Expressed in terms of the systolic pressure (high number) over diastolic pressure (low number), it's measured in units of millimeters of mercury (mmHg).

Understanding Blood Pressure Readings

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The 'top' number in a blood pressure reading is the systolic pressure, while the 'bottom' number is the diastolic pressure. Systolic is the blood pressure when the heart beats while pumping blood, and diastolic is the blood pressure when the heart is at rest between beats. For instance, if your blood pressure is '120 over 80' or 120/80 mmHg, 120 is your systolic pressure, and 80 is your diastolic pressure.

What is Considered 'Normal' Blood Pressure?

A 'normal' blood pressure level is less than 120/80 mmHg. However, this reading can vary considerably according to various factors such as age, sex, weight, and overall health condition. It's essential to note that what may be normal for one person could be high or low for another. Therefore, you should always seek expert medical advice for the best interpretation of your readings.

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Normal Blood Pressure Reading by Age

Age Group Average Normal Blood Pressure
Infants 90/60
Children (1 - 10) 80/50 to 120/80
Teens (11 - 19) 95/60 to 120/80
Adults (20 - 39) 105/75 to 135/80
Adults (40 - 59) 110/75 to 145/85
Seniors (60+) 115/80 to 160/90

Note: This table represents average blood pressure readings. Individual readings may vary, and you should consult a healthcare professional for concerns.

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Blood Pressure and Potential Health Risks

Levels significantly higher than 120/80 mmHg may indicate a health condition called hypertension, colloquially known as high blood pressure. Persistent untreated high blood pressure can lead to severe health issues, including heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease.

Conclusion

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Understanding your blood pressure readings is an essential step in maintaining good health. If your readings consistently fall into the high or low range, you should seek medical advice. Early detection and timely management of blood pressure abnormalities can play a significant role in preventing health complications.

References

  • American Heart Association. (2017). Understanding Blood Pressure Readings.
  • Mayo Clinic. (2018). High blood pressure (hypertension).
Heart Disease Hypertension Stroke Blood Pressure Kidney Disease
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