Question

Hypertension

What is considered high blood pressure?

A Answers (11)

  • A healthy blood pressure is less than 120/80, prehypertension is 120-139/80-89, and high blood pressure (HTN) is anything over 140/90, according to the American Heart Association. A single high blood pressure reading does not mean you have HTN. Your blood pressure could be temporarily high for a number of reasons, including stress. To diagnose HTN, your doctor will take several blood pressure readings over time or have you monitor your blood pressure at home. If you blood pressure remains high (greater than 140/90), your doctor will probably want you to begin treatment for HTN. Diet changes, exercise, and certain medications can help you lower your blood pressure to a healthy range.
  • AJames A. Lally, MD, Cardiology, answered on behalf of MountainView Hospital
    Blood pressure (BP) can rise or fall with changes in posture, exercise, stress levels and sleep habits. The American Heart Association says for adults over age 20, blood pressure should normally be less than 120/80 mm Hg (less than 120 systolic AND less than 80 diastolic). A blood pressure level of 140/90 mm Hg or higher is considered high, known as hypertension. Blood pressure in-between is considered prehypertension. This means that you don't have high blood pressure now, but are likely to develop it in the future if you don’t take steps to prevent it.

    One high BP reading doesn’t mean you have high blood pressure; your doctor will likely check your numbers over time and might have you monitor BP at home before making a diagnosis. You can take steps to prevent and control high blood pressure by adopting healthy lifestyle habits, an effective first step.
  • AManish P. Gupta, MD, Cardiology, answered on behalf of MountainView Hospital
    Your blood pressure rises with each heartbeat and falls when your heart relaxes between beats. While BP can change from minute to minute with changes in posture, exercise, stress or sleep, it should normally be less than 120/80 mm Hg (less than 120 systolic AND less than 80 diastolic) for an adult age 20 or over. About one in three (33.5%) U.S. adults has high blood pressure. If your blood pressure reading is higher than normal, your doctor may take several readings over time and/or have you monitor your blood pressure at home before diagnosing you with high blood pressure.

    A single high reading does not necessarily mean that you have high blood pressure. However, if readings stay at 140/90 mm Hg or above (systolic 140 or above OR diastolic 90 or above) over time, your doctor will likely want you to begin a treatment program. Such a program almost always includes lifestyle changes and often prescription medication for those with readings of 140/90 or higher.
  • ACharles Neiditz, MD, Internal Medicine, answered on behalf of Baptist Health South Florida
    A blood pressure level of 140/90 mmHg or higher is considered high. Most people over age 65 have high blood pressure.

    If your blood pressure is between 120/80 mmHg and 139/89 mmHg, then you are considered to be in the "prehypertension" category. This means that you don't have high blood pressure, or hypertension, now but you are more likely to develop it in the future.

    You can take steps to prevent high blood pressure by adopting a healthier lifestyle that includes weight loss through improved eating habits and regular exercise.
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  • APrarthana Beuria, MD, Internal Medicine, answered on behalf of The Mount Sinai Health System

    Blood pressure is made of 2 numbers. The top number, systolic blood pressure measures the pressure in your blood vessels during your heart beat, while the bottom number, diastolic, measures pressure in between heartbeats. Blood pressure is considered to be high if the systolic (top) number is 140 or higher AND/OR the diastolic (bottom) number is 90 or higher. People with systolic pressure less than 140 but at or above 120, OR diastolic pressure less than 90 but at or above 80 are considered to be at risk for high blood pressure or hypertension.

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  • AEmily Wang, MD, Family Medicine, answered on behalf of The Mount Sinai Health System

    High blood pressure is when the top number (systolic) is higher than 140, OR if the bottom number (diastolic) is higher than 90. Normal blood pressure should be less than 120/80, and anything in between is considered "pre-hypertension." High blood pressure needs to be measured properly on at least three separate office visits before a formal diagnosis of hypertension is given.

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  • AMerle Myerson, Cholesterol Management, answered
    Dr. Merle Myerson - What is considered high blood pressure?

    Cardiovascular specialist Dr. Merle Myerson explains blood pressure and which numbers are considered high by your doctor. Watch Dr. Myerson's video for important tips and information about heart health.


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  • Categories for blood pressure levels in adults ages 18 and older (who are not on medicine for high blood pressure, are not having a short-term illness, and do not have other conditions such as diabetes and kidney disease) are:
    • Normal: systolic less than 120; diastolic less than 80
    • Pre-hypertension: systolic 120-139; diastolic 80-89
    • High blood pressure stage 1: systolic 140-159; diastolic 90-99
    • High blood pressure stage 2: systolic 160 or higher; diastolic 100 or higher
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  • AAndrea C. Bryan, MD, Cardiology, answered on behalf of Greenville Health System

    High blood pressure (hypertension) is defined as a blood pressure that is consistently at or above 140/90. Goal blood pressure should be less than 130/80.  In between these two numbers is termed "prehypertension" and signals a need for lifestyle changes, such as weight loss, increased exercise, or decreased sodium intake.

    The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Nor does the contents of this website constitute the establishment of a physician patient or therapeutic relationship. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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  • High blood pressure depends on the patient's past medical history. However, for the typical patient, high blood pressure is a blood pressure greater than 140/90 on two separate occasions in the physician's office. For certain other patients with known coronary artery disease, diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, carotid disease or an abdominal aortic aneurysm, a goal of 130/80 is appropriate, and anything in excess of this would be considered high blood pressure.
  • AEmilia Klapp, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
    High blood pressure, or hypertension, is blood pressure greater than 140 over 90 mm HG (millimeters of mercury). For an adult, optimal blood pressure is 120 over 80, although it can range from 110 over 70 to 140 over 90.
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