Normal Blood Pressure Range by Age Group

By Frank DiVincenzo, MD
Medically reviewed checkmarkMedically reviewed
March 25, 2022

You’re probably used to getting your blood pressure taken during doctor visits. Although you may not think much of it, it’s important to put on that arm cuff regularly.

Maintaining healthy blood pressure is key to managing your overall health and avoiding more serious issues such as heart attack, heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure. The range for what’s considered normal blood pressure varies depending on your age and sex.

While your healthcare provider will talk to you if your numbers seem abnormal, it’s good to know what your reading means. In this article, we’ll explain the differences between normal blood pressure, hypertension, and hypotension.

Then, we’ll discuss blood pressure ranges by age group, when blood pressure is an emergency, and when to see a doctor about your blood pressure.

What Is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is the amount of force your blood exerts on the walls of your arteries as it flows through your body. It’s normal for blood pressure to rise and fall throughout the day.

However, if your blood pressure remains abnormally high or low for a few days, see a healthcare provider.

Normal

Blood pressure readings consist of two numbers: 

  • Systolic blood pressure is the first or top number. It measures the pressure of the blood against the artery walls as the heart beats and pumps blood into the blood vessels. 
  • Diastolic blood pressure is the second or bottom number. It records the pressure in the arteries in between beats when the heart is at rest.

The normal blood pressure range for adults is between 90/60 mm Hg and 120/80 mm Hg. 

Hypertension

Hypertension, the medical term for high blood pressure, is diagnosed when someone consistently has systolic (top number) blood pressure readings of 130 mm Hg or higher, or diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure readings of 80 mm Hg or higher. 

High blood pressure can be caused by certain health conditions, and it can also lead to more serious health conditions such as a heart attack.

Hypertension is considered a silent condition because there are usually no symptoms until it affects some body organs. The only way to know for certain that you have high blood pressure is to check your blood pressure on a regular basis.

Hypotension

Hypotension, or low blood pressure, is diagnosed when someone consistently has systolic blood pressure of 90 mm Hg or less or diastolic blood pressure of 60 mm Hg or less. 

Some people naturally have lower blood pressure due to genetic factors. Other people have low blood pressure due to a health condition or certain medications.

Like hypertension, hypotension often has no symptoms. If someone does have symptoms, they may include:

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Blood Pressure Ranges by Age Group

Children

Normal blood pressure for kids varies by age, sex, and height.

Below are average blood pressure ranges for children of various ages.

AgeSystolic Blood PressureDiastolic Blood Pressure
Newborn (up to one month)60-90 mm Hg20-60 mm Hg
Infant87-105 mm Hg53-66 mm Hg
Toddler95-105 mm Hg53-66 mm Hg
Preschooler95-110 mm Hg56-70 mm Hg
School-age child97-112 mm Hg57-71 mm Hg
Adolescent112-128 mm Hg66-80 mm Hg

Adults

The normal blood pressure range for adults is between 90/60 mm Hg and 120/80 mm Hg. Before age 55, men have a greater chance than women of having high blood pressure.

For women, the risk of high blood pressure increases after menopause (which typically starts between ages 45-55). 

Elderly

The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association recommend that men and women ages 65 and older aim for blood pressure below 130/80 mm Hg.

Lifestyle changes such as increased physical activity, a heart-healthy diet low in sodium, and limited alcohol consumption can help regulate blood pressure.

It is also common for doctors to prescribe blood pressure medication to older adults. 

When Blood Pressure Is an Emergency

While normal blood pressure ranges vary for adults and children, 180/120 mm Hg is known as a hypertensive crisis for all age groups.

If your blood pressure reading is 180/120 mm Hg or higher and you have any of the following symptoms, seek emergency medical attention:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Back pain
  • Numbness or weakness
  • Change in vision
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Severe headache

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When to See a Medical Provider

Regardless of your age, take the time to get an annual medical check-up, which will include a blood pressure reading. This is the best way to keep tabs on your blood pressure and spot hypertension in the early stages. If you have hypertension, see your doctor for regular check-ups.

They may also ask you to monitor your blood pressure at home. Contact your healthcare provider if you have high readings for several days

Also contact your healthcare provider if you’re experiencing symptoms of low blood pressure such as frequent, unexplained fainting or dizziness.

How K Health Can Help

K Health offers affordable and convenient access to highly qualified doctors to treat and manage high blood pressure, as long as you are not having a hypertensive crisis.

You can meet with your K Health doctor from the comfort of your own home via the K Health app, all while knowing that you’re getting individualized and expert care.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does blood pressure change as we age?
Blood pressure changes as we age because as we get older, the arteries naturally stiffen and lose flexibility. Additionally, health conditions that can contribute to higher blood pressure (such as diabetes, sleep apnea, and kidney disease) are also more common the older we get.
How common is high blood pressure in older adults?
High blood pressure is quite common in older adults. More than 70 percent of Americans ages 65 and older have hypertension, according to the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
Can high blood pressure be more fatal the older you are?
Potentially. The risk of many health conditions (such as stroke and organ damage) increases with age. High blood pressure can heighten this risk, possibly making hypertension more fatal for older adults.

K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

Frank DiVincenzo, MD

Dr. Frank DiVincenzo has been a physician with K Health since 2020. He grew up near Chicago, Illinois, but left the big city to go to college and then attend graduate school in Missouri. He received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a Master of Science in Microbiology before graduating from the University of Missouri–Columbia School of Medicine.

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