Health & Nutrition : How to Interpret a Blood Pressure Reading

Health & Nutrition : How to Interpret a Blood Pressure Reading


My name is Christine Marquette and I’m a registered
dietitian with the Austin Regional clinic and I’m going to talk to you about how to
interpret a blood pressure reading. Blood pressure readings are typically placed into
four categories. Normal, pre hypertension, stage one hypertension and stage two hypertension.
The top number is called your systolic blood pressure, what’s considered normal is for
this number to be less then one hundred twenty. The bottom number is your diastolic blood
pressure. And what’s considered normal is for this number to be less then eighty. The
pre hypertension stage is when your systolic number is between a hundred and twenty and
a hundred and thirty nine and your diastolic number is between eighty and eighty nine.
Stage one hypertension is when your systolic number is between one forty and one fifty
nine, and your diastolic number is between ninety and ninety nine. Stage two hypertension
is when your systolic number is one sixty or greater and your diastolic number is one
hundred or greater. So depending on your own health conditions for example if you don’t
have any other issues you don’t have cholesterol, you don’t have diabetes, you don’t have a
family history of heart disease, a lot of the times your doctor will be happy if you
can get your numbers into the upper normal range. Meaning one nineteen one twenty, seventy
nine, eighty something like that. But if you have a lot of other pre existing conditions
or you have a very strong family history of heart disease or diabetes, your doctor may
be more aggressive and want you to get your blood pressure down into lower normal ranges
say for example low one hundreds over the low seventies or maybe even the sixties and
he will prescribe you medication to help you achieve those particular goals if you are
unable to do it strictly with diet and exercise. So that’s how to actually interpret blood
pressure reading.