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blood pressure levels for adults

Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Blood pressure is the force of blood against the artery walls. It is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and recorded as two numbers - systolic pressure (when the heart beats) over diastolic pressure (when the heart rests between beats). Both numbers are important.

High blood pressure (hypertension) often has no warning signs or symptoms. If uncontrolled, it can lead to heart and kidney diseases, stroke, and blindness.

CategorySystolic blood pressureDiastolic blood pressureResult
Normalless than 120 mmHgandless than 80 mmHgGood for you
Prehypertension120139 mmHgor8089 mmHgYour blood pressure could be a problem. Make changes in what you eat,
and be physically active. If you have diabetes, see your doctor.
Hypertension140 mmHg or higheror90 mmHg or higherYou have high blood pressure. Ask your doctor how to control it.

If the systolic and diastolic pressures fall into different categories, the overall status is the higher category.

High blood pressure can be controlled if you take these steps:
- maintain a healthy weight.
- avoid alcoholic beverages.
- quit smoking, if you smoke.
- be moderately physically active on most days of the week.
- follow a healthy eating plan, which includes foods lower in sodium (salt).
- if you have high blood pressure and are prescribed medication, then take the medication as directed.

Steps to prevent high blood pressure:
- maintain a healthy weight.
- avoid alcoholic beverages.
- quit smoking, if you smoke.
- be moderately physically active on most days of the week.
- follow a healthy eating plan, which includes foods lower in sodium (salt).





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