What is normal blood pressure by age?


Blood circulates in the body through blood vessels, and as blood circulates in the body, it moves at a certain force which is known as blood pressure. The simple definition for blood pressure is the force at which blood is circulated against the walls of your blood vessels. Any time you check your blood pressure, two numbers are used to represent the measurement, for example (120/80 mm Hg). The bigger number is the systolic pressure and the smaller number is the diastolic pressure.

Normal blood pressure

Throughout the day, your blood pressure rises and falls depending on what you are doing. Normal blood pressure is below 120/80 mm Hg for both the systolic and diastolic pressures. Regardless of your age, you can take steps to control your blood pressure and keep it within a normal range.

Systolic blood pressure

Systolic blood pressure is the top number of your blood pressure measurement and it is also the greater number of the reading. Systolic is a measurement of the heartbeat. The American Heart Association estimates that every minute, your heart beats between 60 to 100 times. Systolic blood pressure is the force of the blood against the walls of your artery when your heart pumps blood to the body.

Diastolic blood pressure

Diastolic blood pressure is the bottom number in the blood pressure reading and it is also the smaller number. Diastolic pressure is measured in between heartbeats. Diastolic pressure is the force exerted on the walls of the artery when the heart rests in between beats to receive blood and oxygen. At this period, the coronary artery is able to supply blood to the heart.

The systolic and diastolic readings are both equally important to health care professionals; however, increased systolic blood pressure has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease and stroke.

Normal blood pressure for children

The normal blood pressure for adults may be out of range for children. Blood pressure in children is dependent on a lot of factors, like age, height, and sex.

Normal blood pressure for adults

Average blood pressure for men and women: As already stated, the average blood pressure for adults is a systolic pressure reading of less than 120mm Hg and a diastolic reading of less than 80mm Hg.

Blood pressure readings 

How is blood pressure measured?

Blood pressure can be measured at home with a blood pressure monitor, at a pharmacy, and at hospitals. How you are seated, whether you’ve been exercising, the food you ate or drank, and even the nervousness attached to checking your blood pressure can have an effect on the blood pressure levels.1 Therefore, steps should be taken to ensure that nothing will have an impact on the reading which will lead to any unwarranted treatment. Steps that may be taken include;

  1. Avoid drinking or eating anything 30 minutes before taking the reading.
  2. Make sure you have urinated before taking the reading if you feel the need to.
  3. Sit comfortably with your back resting for at least 5 minutes.
  4. Avoid crossing your legs and try to keep your feet flat on the ground.
  5. Avoid talking.
  6. Also make sure that the BP machine's strap is not on your cloth but on your skin and at the same time not so tightly attached.

Low blood pressure (Hypotension)

Low blood pressure or hypotension is defined as a blood pressure reading of less than 90/60 mmHg.

Ideal blood pressure

The ideal or normal blood pressure is a blood pressure measurement of 120/80 mmHg or less. However, we must be careful not to reduce beyond 90/60 mmHg because in that case, we will be entering into hypotension.

Elevated blood pressure

Elevated blood pressure is a blood pressure reading greater than 120 mmHg but less than 130mmHg for the systolic and a diastolic reading of greater than 80 mmHg.

Hypertension stage I

Hypertension stage I is a blood pressure reading of between 130-139 mmHg for the systolic or diastolic reading of between 80-89mmHg.

Hypertension stage II

Hypertension stage II is a blood pressure reading of greater than 140 mmHg for the systolic or diastolic reading of greater than or equal to 90 mmHg.

Hypertensive crisis

A hypertensive crisis is a blood pressure reading of greater than 140 mmHg for a systolic and or diastolic reading of greater than 120 mmHg.

The table below is a summary of blood pressure readings and their significance

Low blood pressure

Low blood pressure (hypotension) is when your blood pressure is lower than 90 mmHg for the systolic or a diastolic reading of less than 60 mmHg. In some extreme cases, low blood pressure can be life-threatening.

Types of Low blood pressure

  • Orthostatic or Postural Hypotension: This is when the blood pressure of an individual suddenly drops as a result of a change in posture, for example when you stand up from a sitting or a sleeping position. This condition can occur for various reasons including diabetes, some neurological conditions, sleeping for a long time, heart problems, and pregnancy.2
  • Postprandial or hypotension after eating: This occurs typically in people with hypertension or some neurological conditions like Parkinson’s disease. Individuals with such conditions should resort to eating smaller meals frequently instead of eating in bulk, and also eating low carbohydrate meals, drinking a lot of water, and avoiding alcohol will help in the management of such conditions.3
  • Hypotension because of damage to the nervous system
  • Hypotension because the brain and the heart are refusing to communicate properly: This usually occurs in young people after standing for a long time.  


There can be a variation in your blood pressure within the day, mostly depending on what you are doing. Some low blood pressure conditions can be inherited genetically while some also generally develop hypotension as they grow older. There are some medical conditions or medications that can lead to low blood pressure. Some causes include;

  1. Pregnancy
  2. Heart problems
  3. Dehydration
  4. Infection which enters the bloodstream (septicemia)
  5. Vitamin B-12, folate or iron deficiency

Medications that cause low blood pressure include:

  1. Some types of antidepressants
  2. Some drugs for erectile dysfunction
  3. Some Anti-Hypertensive drugs


You must check your blood pressure immediately if you are experiencing the following symptoms

  1. Confusion or difficulty concentrating
  2. General weakness or easy fatigability
  3. Vision becomes blurry
  4. Fainting
  5. Nausea


  1. Take your medications at the correct time and dosage.
  2. Follow the dietary plan given to you by your dietitian.
  3. Individuals with orthostatic hypotension should avoid standing up too quickly.

High blood pressure

High blood pressure or hypertension as already stated is when your blood pressure is higher than normal. This can lead to many complications, like stroke, coronary heart disease, heart failure, renal conditions, and retinopathy (damage to the eyes) etc.


  1. Consumption of a diet rich in salt (sodium), cholesterol, or fat
  2. Old age
  3. Smoking and alcohol consumption
  4. Overweight and Obesity
  5. Physical Inactivity (Sedentary lifestyle)
  6. Stress
  7. Genetics and family history
  8. Certain health conditions like diabetes


Some people with high blood pressure have no symptoms and others may show these symptoms including;

  1. Severe headache
  2. Fatigue, confusion and fainting
  3. Shortness of breath and palpitations
  4. Bleeding nose
  5. Vomiting


Individuals with high blood pressure are advised to adhere to treatment medications given by the doctor. Also, lifestyle modifications are advised in order for the individual to be healthy. Modifications include;

  1. Reduce your salt intake a day to less than 6g (1 teaspoon)
  2. Reduce your intake of fatty rich foods
  3. Avoid smoking and reduce your alcohol intake
  4. Reduce your intake of caffeine
  5. Be physically active
  6. Consume fruits and vegetables and also food rich in Magnesium.


Lifestyle modification is the best way to manage your blood pressure. Individuals with a family history of hypertension and its related conditions should monitor their blood pressure regularly.


  1. Benjamin EJ, Muntner P, Alonso A, Bittencourt MS, Callaway CW, Carson AP, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2019 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2019;139(10):e56-e528.
  2. Grubb BP, Kosinski DJ, Kanjwal Y. Orthostatic hypotension: causes, classification, and treatment. Pacing and clinical electrophysiology. 2003;26(4p1):892-901.
  3. Luciano GL, Brennan MJ, Rothberg MB. Postprandial hypotension. The American journal of medicine. 2010;123(3):281. e1-. e6.
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Perez Danso Frimpong

Doctor of Philosophy - Ph.D., Biochemistry Student, Kwame Nkrumah'​ University of Science and Technology, Kumasi
Perez is a young determined Ph.D. candidate who has acquired skills through research, conferences, short courses, and internship programs.
Director at Cornfields Green Ghana Ltd /Scientific /Medical Writer and Editor.
He is interested in finding new ideas that would impact society positively and meeting people to share.

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