Is 120 Over 60 a Good Blood Pressure Reading?

Reviewed on 3/9/2022
low blood pressure
A blood pressure reading of 120 over 60 is an example of isolated diastolic hypotension

A blood pressure reading of 120 over 60 is an example of isolated diastolic hypotension.

Most people are concerned about high blood pressure (hypertension) because it’s a known risk factor for heart disease. However, low blood pressure (hypotension) is also a problem, especially if it causes symptoms.

In a blood pressure reading, the number on top represents your systolic blood pressure and the number on bottom represents your diastolic blood pressure. 

  • 120/80 mm Hg is considered normal for healthy adults.
  • 90/60 mm Hg or below is considered low blood pressure.

But what if your systolic blood pressure is normal (between 100-120), and your diastolic blood pressure is lower (60 or below)? You are considered to have low blood pressure, and the condition is called isolated diastolic hypotension.

What is isolated diastolic hypotension?

Diastolic blood pressure refers to the pressure exerted during the resting phase of your heart when it receives its blood supply. With isolated diastolic hypotension, a lower diastolic pressure means the heart is not getting enough of its blood supply. And a lower blood supply means a lower oxygen supply. 

While you may not experience any symptoms, your condition should be monitored closely because frequently getting this type of blood pressure reading could be bad for your heart. For example, low diastolic blood pressure can cause your heart muscles to become weak and increase the risk of heart failure. This risk is higher if you have coronary heart disease.

What are signs and symptoms of isolated diastolic hypotension?

If you have isolated diastolic hypotension, you may experience:

Persistent low diastolic pressure can cause symptoms of heart failure, including:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations
  • Swelling of feet or ankles
  • Confusion
  • Sudden chest pain or shortness of breath are serious signs that require immediate medical help

For many people, having a low blood pressure of 90/60 mm Hg is normal and they may not experience any signs and symptoms. However, others may experience:

  • Dizziness
  • Falls
  • Nausea
  • Decrease in concentration
  • Blurred vision
  • Fainting

What causes isolated diastolic hypotension?

Low diastolic blood pressure may be caused by:

  • Alpha-blocker medications: These are known to decrease diastolic pressure more than systolic pressure. Many prostate medications contain alpha-blockers.
  • Aging: Elasticity of the arteries decreases as people get older. 
  • High salt intake: Eating too much salt in your diet can decrease the elasticity of the arteries.

Causes of low blood pressure in general include:

You may also get a low blood pressure reading when:

  • You suddenly get up from a sitting or lying down position. This is called postural (orthostatic) hypotension.
  • You sit after standing for a long time. This is called neurally mediated hypotension.

SLIDESHOW

Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension): Symptoms, Signs, Causes See Slideshow

Is 140 over 70 a good blood pressure reading?

Is 140 Over 70 a Good Blood Pressure
Blood pressure of 140/70 mmHg indicates stage 1 hypertension and may be cause for concern. Learn about blood pressure ranges

Blood pressure of 140/70 mmHg indicates stage 1 hypertension and may be cause for concern. 

Blood pressure readings measure the pressure exerted on your heart when it pumps blood the resistance of blood flow in the arteries. The harder the heart has to pump and the narrower the arteries, the higher the blood pressure.

Generally, normal blood pressure is about 120/80 mmHg or lower. Readings above 140/90 mmHg are considered hypertension, and those above 180/120 mmHg are considered serious. If left untreated, hypertension can lead to heart diseases and stroke.

What are blood pressure ranges?

  • Normal: 120 systolic over 80 diastolic
  • Raised: 120-129 systolic over 80 or below diastolic
  • Stage I hypertension: 130-139 systolic over 80-89 diastolic
  • Stage II hypertension: 140 or higher systolic over 90 or higher diastolic
  • Hypertensive crisis: 180 systolic over 120 diastolic

What causes hypertension?

Because hypertension develops over time, the exact specific cause is unknown. However, genetics is one of the main risk factors. If your parents or immediate family have hypertension, you are at greater risk of developing the condition.

Other factors that can contribute to developing hypertension include:

What are the signs and symptoms of hypertension?

Hypertension is referred to as the “silent killer” because it typically produces no discernable symptoms.

In some cases, people with hypertension may experience:

However, these signs and symptoms are not specific to hypertension and do not occur until blood pressure has already reached extremely high or life-threatening levels.

How is hypertension diagnosed?

After taking your medical history and conducting a physical examination, your doctor will measure your blood pressure. If your blood pressure reading is high, they may order tests to confirm a diagnosis of hypertension and check for underlying conditions:

How to treat hypertension

Lifestyle changes are the standard, first-line treatment for hypertension:

Medications used to treat hypertension depend on the severity of the condition and the patient’s overall health:

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References
Mayo Clinic. Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension). https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/low-blood-pressure/symptoms-causes/syc-20355465

American Heart Association. Warning Signs of Heart Failure. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-failure/warning-signs-of-heart-failure

Windsor M. Diastolic Blood Pressure: How Low Is Too Low? University of Alabama at Birmingham News. https://www.uab.edu/news/research/item/10393-diastolic-blood-pressure-how-low-is-too-low#

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. High Blood Pressure. https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/index.htm

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