Blood Pressure Home > Systolic and Diastolic Blood Pressure
If the diastolic and systolic blood pressures are too low (known as hypotension or low blood pressure), the blood is not able to bring oxygen and nutrients to the body's cells and remove waste matter. This may cause the cells to die. Blood pressure is considered low when the blood pressure readings are below 90/60.
If a person's diastolic and systolic blood pressures are too high, he or she has high blood pressure, which is also known as hypertension. Hypertension is defined as having an average blood pressure reading higher than 140/90. If only the systolic blood pressure is higher than 140, the person has a condition referred to as isolated systolic hypertension.
In people with high blood pressure, the small blood vessels in the vital organs are most affected over time. These vessels become scarred, hardened, and less elastic, meaning they are more likely to get blocked or rupture (leading to organ damage or even organ failure).
This can happen as you get older, whether or not your blood pressure is too high, but high systolic and diastolic blood pressures can hasten this process. Maintaining normal blood pressure is an important part of reducing the risk of:
If the systolic and diastolic blood pressures are between 120/80 and 140/90, the person has a condition called prehypertension.
A person's blood pressure changes frequently throughout the course of a day. Within only a few minutes, diastolic and systolic blood pressures can change based on factors such as:
- Nicotine use
- Level of exercise
- Amount of tension
Because of these changes, it's best to use multiple blood pressure readings to figure out your average blood pressure number.
In addition, it's important to look at your overall health, lifestyle, diet, and family history when comparing your systolic and diastolic blood pressures to what many people consider normal. These factors may cause you to have a higher or lower reading.