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  • Writer's pictureDr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam

Understanding Blood Pressure Readings

Blood pressure is an important health indicator. It measures the force of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries.Think of it like water pressure in a hose. Healthy blood pressure ensures enough blood flow reaches your organs without damaging your arteries.

Normal Blood Pressure:

Generally, a normal blood pressure reading is less than 120 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) for the systolic pressure (top number) and less than 80 mmHg for the diastolic pressure (bottom number). This is written as 120/80 mmHg.

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension):

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, occurs when the force of blood against your artery walls is consistently too high. Here's a breakdown of the stages of high blood pressure according to the American Heart Association:

  • Elevated: Systolic pressure between 120-129 mmHg and diastolic pressure less than 80 mmHg (120-129/less than 80 mmHg). This indicates a potential risk for future high blood pressure.

  • Stage 1 Hypertension: Systolic pressure between 130-139 mmHg or diastolic pressure between 80-89 mmHg (130-139/80-89 mmHg). Lifestyle changes are often recommended at this stage.

  • Stage 2 Hypertension: Systolic pressure at 140 mmHg or higher or diastolic pressure at 90 mmHg or higher (140/90 mmHg or higher). Medication is often prescribed along with lifestyle changes.

  • Hypertensive Crisis: This is a dangerous condition with very high blood pressure readings (higher than 180/120 mmHg) that can lead to stroke or heart attack. If you experience this, seek immediate medical attention.

Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension):

Low blood pressure is generally considered a reading below 90/60 mmHg. While low blood pressure isn't usually harmful on its own for some people, it can cause dizziness, fainting, and fatigue in others. If you experience these symptoms along with low blood pressure readings, consult your doctor.


  • These are general guidelines. Your doctor will determine your ideal blood pressure range based on your individual health.

  • Blood pressure readings can fluctuate throughout the day.

  • If you have concerns about your blood pressure, talk to your doctor. They can advise you on how to manage your blood pressure and keep it within a healthy range.

Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam, MD, FRCP (London), FACP (USA)

Internal Medicine Specialist

Kify Hospital



Phone : 85000 23456


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