The American Heart Association recommends blood pressure screening occur starting at age 20, unless a medical condition would require a patient younger than 20 years of age be checked. Blood pressure readings defined by the American Heart Association include normal, prehypertension, two stages of hypertension, and hypertensive crisis. Prehypertension is a designation meant to alert patients of a need to intervene and prevent hypertension. Patients in this designation have increasing health risks and need to make major lifestyle changes to return to a normal reading. If changes are not made, prehypertension may progress into hypertension – a serious health risk. Treatment options for hypertension usually require prescription medications and should be discussed, prescribed, and monitored by a physician.
|Blood Pressure Category||Systolic|
|Hypertension (Stage 1)||140–159||90–99|
|Hypertension (Stage 2)||>160||>100|
|Source: American Heart Association 2015|