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Blood Pressure Readings Chart

Blood Pressure Readings Chart

How much should your normal blood pressure be? What factors determine whether your blood pressure reading is normal or not? Read about blood pressure readings chart to get the answers.
Ishani Chatterjee Shukla
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
Blood pressure is the pressure of blood circulation that is exerted upon the walls of the blood vessels. During each heartbeat, the blood pressure follows a rhythm of maximum and minimum pressure, known as systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure respectively. A blood pressure chart is used to match and interpret the readings shown by the instruments and also keep a track of frequent fluctuations.
Before progressing to the chart, let us take a cursory glance at how these readings are arrived at to draw blood pressure charts. Blood pressure can be measured by either of the two kinds of blood pressure monitors - sphygmomanometer or a mercury manometer. There are two broad methods of measuring blood pressure - non invasive method and invasive method. Under the non invasive method, blood pressure can be measured in the following ways:-
  1. Palpation Method :  Under this method, palpation of the radial pulse is considered to indicate a minimum blood pressure of 80 mmHg, detection of a femoral pulse is regarded as indicative of a minimum blood pressure of 70 mmHg while a carotid pulse is interpreted as 60 mmHg. It is believed that this method often overestimates the systolic blood pressure of the patient.
  2. Ausculatory Method :  Under this method, a stethoscope and a sphygmomanometer is used to measure the blood pressure. An inflatable cuff is fastened around the upper left arm of the patient at roughly the same height as the heart. This cuff is attached to a mercuric or aneroid manometer via a long tube. The cuff is then inflated by squeezing a rubber valve till the artery is totally obstructed. The manometer measures the rise of the mercury to arrive at an absolute reading.
  3. Oscillometric Method :  Under this method, oscillations in the sphygmomanometer cuff pressure is observed to arrive at a reading. This cuff pressure is exerted by the pulse, which is nothing but the oscillations of blood flow. Sometimes, electronic pressure sensors are used instead of the mercuric ones to get oscillatory interpretations as well as to automatically inflate and deflate the upper arm cuff.
Invasive blood pressure measurement is considered to give the most accurate blood pressure reading though this process is a bit complicated. This method involves insertion of a cannula needle in a radial, femoral, dorsal, pedis or brachial artery. The cannula is connected to a sterilized liquid filled equipment which is joined to an electronic pressure transducer. This way, the blood pressure is monitored for every beat and a graph of pressure against time is displayed in a waveform, establishing the individual rhythm.
Generic Chart for Blood Pressure Readings
The chart below is a generalized overview of the meanings of various blood pressure values and interpretation. 

Systolic Value Diastolic Value Interpretation
≤ 120 ≤ 80 Normal BP
120-139 80-89 Prehypertension
140-159 90-99 Mild Hypertension
160-179 100-109 Moderate Hypertension
≥ 180 ≥ 110 Severe Hypertension

Blood pressure readings for children and adults differ quite significantly and what is normal for children may be too low for adults and what is normal for adults may be too high for children. To understand this, let us take a look at normal blood pressure figures by age.
Normal Blood Pressure Chart By Age
The table below shows an average healthy blood pressure range for different age groups.

Age Systolic Value Diastolic Value Interpretation
3-6 years 116 76 Normal
7-10 years 122 78 Normal
11-13 years 126 82 Normal
14-16 years 136 86 Normal
17-19 years (young adults) ≤ 120 ≤ 85 Optimal
20-40 years (adults) 120-130 80-85 Normal

The above charts are designed for the layman to understand what range should be considered normal for which age so that one can keep a track of any abnormal rise or fall. Another thing that you must understand before going ahead with the interpretation of blood pressure charts is that your blood pressure does not remain the same throughout the day and every activity you do either slightly raises or lowers your blood pressure. This is normal but any steep rise or fall in blood pressure during such mundane activities or life situations should be considered abnormal and must be brought to medical attention. Additionally, if you already have a history of high or low blood pressure, any physical discomfort that is indicative of a shift in blood pressure levels (such as headaches and flushing for high blood pressure and dizziness and weakness for low blood pressure) should be reported to a registered physician. Maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle is the key to keeping your blood pressure under control. Stress management is of utmost importance to avoid both high blood pressure and low blood pressure conditions. Also, doing things that interests you and makes you feel good is a great way to avoid blood pressure abnormalities. Stay happy to stay healthy and vice versa!