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Your Guide to Lowering Blood Pressure NHLBI Logo

High Blood
Pressure Topics:


Categories for Blood Pressure
Levels in Adults

(Ages 18 Years and Older)

 Blood Pressure Level (mmHg)
Category Systolic  Diastolic
Normal < 120and < 80
Prehypertension 120-139or 80-89
High Blood Pressure  
Stage 1 Hypertension 140–159or 90–99
Stage 2 Hypertension greater than or equal to160or greater than or equal to100

< means LESS THAN
greater than or equal to means GREATER THAN OR EQUAL TO

When systolic and diastolic blood pressures fall into different categories, the higher category should be used to classify blood pressure level. For example, 160/80 mmHg would be stage 2 hypertension (high blood pressure).

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