High Blood Pressure - Hypertension Guide

Adult Blood Pressure Categories

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends optimal blood pressures of less than 120/80 mm Hg (systolic pressure is 120 AND diastolic pressure is less than 80). The table to the right provides the AHA's blood pressure classifications.

Case studies on hypertension and hypotension with blood pressure simulation.
Blood Pressure Category Systolic mm Hg
(upper #)
  Diastolic mm Hg
(lower #)
Normal less than 120 and less than 80
Prehypertension 120-139 or 80-89
High Blood Pressure
(Hypertension) Stage 1
140-159 or 90-99
High Blood Pressure
(Hypertension) Stage 2
160 or higher or 100 or higher
Hypertensive Crisis
(Emergency care needed)
Higher than 180 or Higher than 110

Blood Pressure Measurement in Children

The NIH has published a pocket guide to blood pressure measurement in Children.

Pocket Guide to Blood Pressure Measurement in Children

The NIH states "since diastolic hypertension rarely occurs without systolic hypertension in children, systolic blood pressure tables in the pocket guide can be used for hypertension screening.  Since diastolic HTN rarely occurs without systolic HTN in children, the SBP percentile tables on the next page can be used for HTN screening. If a child’s SBP on screening is classified as prehypertension or HTN, then both SBP and DBP percentiles should be determined using the tables in the complete report..."  These tables can be downloaded using the link above.

Practice drills for the assessment of hypertension in children.

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