Sean Cate
Sean Cate
June 12, 2024 ·  4 min read

Blood Pressure Chart: Normal & High Blood Pressure by Age

Monitoring and managing blood pressure is crucial for maintaining our overall health. Also called hypertension, it is a common condition that can lead to major health issues if left untreated.

Understanding Blood Pressure Readings

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A reading consist of two numbers, measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). The first, or top number, is the systolic pressure, which measures how strongly your heart pushes against the walls of your arteries each time it beats. The second, or bottom number, is the diastolic pressure, which measures the force your heart exerts on the walls of your arteries between beats.1

For example, a reading of 120/80 mm Hg means a systolic pressure of 120 mm Hg and a diastolic pressure of 80 mm Hg. The American Heart Association defines normal blood pressure for adults as less than 120/80 mm Hg.

Blood Pressure Categories

In 2017, new guidelines from the American Heart Association and other health organizations lowered the threshold for diagnosing hypertension. These guidelines aim to help people address high blood pressure earlier, reducing the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular issues.2

Here are the updated categories:

  • Normal: Less than 120/80 mm Hg
  • Elevated: 120-129 systolic and less than 80 diastolic
  • Stage 1 Hypertension: 130-139 systolic or 80-89 diastolic
  • Stage 2 Hypertension: 140/90 mm Hg or higher
  • Hypertensive Crisis: Higher than 180 systolic and/or higher than 120 diastolic2

Health Risks of High Blood Pressure

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High blood pressure is often called the “silent killer” because it usually doesn’t cause symptoms until significant damage has occurred. If left untreated, hypertension can lead to serious health issues, including heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, and more.3

Natural Approaches to Blood Pressure Management

While medication is often necessary, several natural approaches can help manage and even lower hypertension. Here are some effective strategies:

1. Exercise Regularly

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Regular physical activity strengthens the heart, enabling it to pump with less effort, thereby lowering the pressure in your arteries. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, such as brisk walking, jogging, or swimming.

2. Follow a Heart-Healthy Diet

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Adopting diets like DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) can significantly lower blood pressure. The DASH diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and limits sodium, red meat, and added sugars.

3. Reduce Sodium Intake

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Reducing sodium intake can lower blood pressure, especially in people sensitive to salt. Aim for a daily sodium intake of no more than 1,500 to 2,300 mg. Use herbs and spices to flavor food instead of salt, and choose low-sodium options when available.

4. Maintain a Healthy Weight

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Weight loss is one of the most effective lifestyle changes for controlling hypertension. Even a small weight loss can help reduce blood pressure. Focus on a balanced diet and regular physical activity to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

5. Limit Alcohol

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Drinking alcohol in moderation can be beneficial, but excessive drinking can raise blood pressure. Men should limit their intake to two drinks per day, and women to one drink per day.

6. Manage Stress

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Chronic stress contributes to high blood pressure. Techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can help manage stress levels. Setting aside time each day for relaxation and activities you enjoy can also be beneficial.

7. Quit Smoking

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Smoking increases blood pressure and the risk of heart disease. Quitting smoking helps lower it and improves overall health. Even reducing exposure to secondhand smoke can have positive effects.

Blood Pressure by Age

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Difficulties tend to rise with age due to various factors, like blood vessels getting stiff and the accumulation of plaque in the arteries. Here’s a general overview of average blood pressure ranges by age:

18-39 years:40-59 years:60+ years:
Men: 119/70 mm Hg
Women: 110/68 mm Hg
Men: 124/77 mm Hg
Women: 122/74 mm Hg
Men: 133/69 mm Hg
Women: 139/68 mm Hg

Ethnicity also plays a role in readings, with Black individuals often having higher average readings compared to White and Mexican-American individuals.

Monitoring Blood Pressure

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Regular monitoring of blood pressure is essential for managing hypertension. Home monitors are a convenient way to track your readings. When choosing a monitor, select an automated upper-arm device for the most accurate results.

Tips for Accurate Readings:

  • Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages 30 minutes before measuring.
  • Sit quietly for five minutes before taking a reading.
  • Ensure your back is supported, and your feet are flat on the floor.
  • Support your arm at heart level and wrap the cuff over bare skin.
  • Take multiple readings and average them for accuracy.


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Understanding blood pressure readings and maintaining healthy levels is vital for preventing serious health complications. By adopting natural approaches such as regular exercise, a heart-healthy diet, reducing sodium intake, and managing stress, you can effectively manage and lower potential hypertension. Regular monitoring and consultations with healthcare providers are essential steps towards a healthier life.


  1. Reading the new blood pressure guidelines.” Harvard. March 26, 2024
  2. Blood Pressure Chart With Readings By Age and Sex.” Very Well Health. Sheryl Huggins Salomon. April 19, 2024.
  3. 6 natural ways to lower blood pressure.” Harvard.  Matthew Solan. May 1, 2023