What does your blood pressure reading mean?

If this is your first time taking your blood pressure, discuss the results with your doctor. Blood pressure is a very individualized vital sign reading, which means it can be very different for each person. Some people have naturally low blood pressure all the time, for example, while others may run on the higher side.

In general, a normal blood pressure is considered anything less than 120/80. Your own personal blood pressure will depend on your gender, age, weight, and any medical conditions you have. If you do register a blood pressure reading of 120/80 or over, wait two to five minutes and recheck.

If it’s still high, talk to your doctor to rule out hypertension. If your blood pressure ever goes over 180 systolic or over 120 diastolic after a repeat reading, seek emergency medical care right away.

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