Know your numbers - high, normal or low?

High blood pressure

If you consistently have a reading of 140/90 or higher, you may have high blood pressure (hypertension).

High blood pressure increases your risk of developing certain health conditions, including heart attacks and strokes. Generally, the lower your blood pressure, the healthier you are.

A healthy blood pressure is normally less than 140/90. If you have high blood pressure, you should be aiming for a reading less than 140/90. Your doctor or specialist may aim for a lower blood pressure if you have diabetes or kidney disease - but for people under 80 years old, 140/90 is a good target.

Multiple blood pressure readings of higher than 180/110 are considered to be significantly raised. If your blood pressure reading does not reduce, you should speak to your GP that day.

Low blood pressure

People with readings of around 100/60 or lower are generally considered to have low blood pressure.

Low blood pressure can sometimes cause dizziness. If you are on treatment to lower your blood pressure, have readings below 100/60 and feel dizzy, you should talk to your practice nurse or GP about reducing your medication.

It is also important to think about low blood pressure when you are feeling ill. If you are on treatment to lower your blood pressure and feeling ill, you can sometimes get dehydrated.

Conditions like sickness and diarrhoea can cause dehydration. Dehydration can result in low blood pressure and dizziness, and it can affect your kidneys.

It is worth speaking to your GP if this affects you as it might be sensible to reduce some of your blood pressure medicine until your blood pressure returns to normal and you are no longer dehydrated.

Page last updated: 13 March 2024

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