How to Read Your Blood Pressure
When you visit your doctor, you may have your blood pressure checked. Blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. One in three American adults has high blood pressure, or hypertension.
Your blood pressure is written as two numbers. The top number, or systolic, shows the force of blood in your arteries when your heart beats. The bottom number, or diastolic, shows the force of blood when your heart rests.
|Blood Pressure Category||Systolic (top #)||Diastolic (bottom #)|
|Normal||less than 120||less than 80|
|Prehypertension||120-129||less than 80|
|High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)||130 or higher||80 or higher|
If your reading is 130 over 80 or higher, you may have high blood pressure. This can put you at risk for heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. If your numbers are above the normal range, talk with your doctor about a treatment plan.