130 over 80. 150 over 90. You may have heard your doctor describe blood pressure numbers this way. At first, it may not be easy to understand what the numbers mean or to remember them. That’s okay. Ask your doctor to help you figure out which numbers are high or low and what your blood pressure goal should be.
Blood pressure is always given as 2 numbers. For example, 130/80 (and read as: 130 over 80).
The chart below shows you:
|Blood pressure levels*||Top number: systolic
(the pressure when the heart beats while pumping blood)
|Bottom number: diastolic
(the pressure when the heart is at rest between beats)
pressure, stage 2
|160 or higher||OR||100 or higher|
pressure, stage 1
|140 to 159||OR||90 to 99|
|At risk for high
|120 to 139||OR||80 to 89|
|Normal||Less than 120||AND||Less than 80|
*Based upon guidelines from the Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure.