23 February, 2024
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Blood pressure refers to the pressure exerted by blood on the walls of arteries as it circulates through them. It is quantified by two numbers, systolic pressure (top number) and diastolic pressure (bottom number), both measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg). The systolic pressure reflects the arterial pressure during heartbeats, while the diastolic pressure represents the arterial pressure when the heart is at rest between beats. With a respective blood test, you can know your blood pressure level. However, the acceptable range of blood pressure varies across age groups, with diverse levels being regarded as healthy for infants, children, teenagers, adults, and seniors.
Infants and Children
Infants and children have lower blood pressure ranges than adults. The normal range of blood pressure for infants and children varies with age and height. Blood pressure should be measured at each well-child visit to ensure that it remains within the normal range. Normal blood pressure for infants is around 75/50 mmHg, and for children between 1-12 years old, the range is between 80/50 to 110/75 mmHg.
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In teenagers, blood pressure levels begin to rise as they go through puberty. The normal range of blood pressure for teenagers aged 13-18 years old is between 120/80 to 130/90 mmHg.
Typically, adults have a normal blood pressure range that falls below 120/80 mmHg. Blood pressure readings ranging from 120/80 to 139/89 mmHg are categorised as prehypertension, whereas readings of 140/90 mmHg or higher indicate hypertension, a condition that can have severe consequences like heart disease, stroke, and other health issues if left untreated.
Although blood pressure tends to rise with age in elderly individuals, the normal range remains unchanged. The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association advise a blood pressure target of below 130/80 mmHg for adults aged 65 or older. However, for those aged 80 or older, a blood pressure range of 140/90 mmHg or lower is considered normal.
It is important to note that blood pressure can vary throughout the day and can be affected by various factors such as stress, exercise, and medications. Therefore, a single blood pressure reading may not accurately reflect an individual's true blood pressure level. Blood pressure should be measured several times over a period of time to get an accurate picture of an individual's blood pressure level.
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Moreover, it is crucial to remember that hypertension often presents with no symptoms, so regular monitoring is essential. Elevated blood pressure may result in various severe health issues, such as heart disease, stroke, renal failure, and loss of vision. Lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet low in sodium, and limiting alcohol consumption, can help to prevent and manage high blood pressure. In some cases, medication may also be necessary to manage high blood pressure.
In conclusion, normal blood pressure ranges vary with age, and it is important to maintain healthy blood pressure levels to prevent health problems. Blood pressure should be regularly monitored, and any concerns about blood pressure should be discussed with a healthcare professional. Lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and limiting alcohol consumption, can help to prevent and manage high blood pressure. In some cases, medication may also be necessary to manage high blood pressure.
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