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What is Abnormal Blood Pressure?


Updated April 22, 2014

Question: What is Abnormal Blood Pressure?

While 120/80 used to be considered normal, the new American Heart Association guidelines define three levels of abnormal blood pressure values.

  1. 120-139 / 80-89 is now considered to be “prehypertension” (or “Almost High Blood Pressure"), and doctors are watching blood pressures in this range more carefully than in the past.

  2. 140/90 is the cutoff for Stage 1 Hypertension. Stage 1 Hypertension may or may not be treated with medicines, depending on lifestyle and other risk factors.

  3. Systolic pressures above 160, or diastolic pressures above 100, patients are classified as having Stage 2 Hypertension, a serious condition that warrants immediate medical treatment.
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