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Blood Pressure 101: Why Are Those Numbers Important?

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What Are the Ranges of Blood Pressure?
Your blood pressure changes as you go through your day. Exercise, sleep and even sitting in a chair can increase or decrease your blood pressure.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers the following guidelines for blood pressure:

  • Normal blood pressure should be less than 120/85mmHg.
  • Prehypertension occurs when the systolic or first number is between 120 and 139, and the diastolic or second number is between 80 and 89mmHg. People with prehypertension are twice as likely to get hypertension as people with normal blood pressure.
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure occurs in people with blood pressure readings of 140/90mmHg or higher.

    Your health care practitioner may take several blood pressure readings over time to determine if your blood pressure is high.

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