Q:

What is the normal BP range for adults?

A:

Quick Answer

The normal range for blood pressure is 120/80 or lower, according to the American Heart Association. Readings above the range for either number may indicate prehypertension, stage 1 or 2 hypertension, or a hypertensive emergency requiring immediate care. The higher the reading, the more serious the situation.

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Full Answer

The top number is the systolic reading, which measures the pressure of the arteries as the heart beats, notes the American Heart Association. The bottom number is the diastolic reading, which shows the artery pressure between heart beats. Because the pressure is higher when the heart beats, the top number in a blood pressure reading is greater. One high blood pressure assessment doesn't mean a patient has high blood pressure. The physician typically takes additional blood pressure readings over a period of time to determine if the patient has abnormal blood pressure.

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