Healthy blood pressure ranges from 120/75 to 140/85.
The higher is the systolic pressure—the pressure in the arteries when the heart is pumping. The lower the diastolic pressure—the pressure in the arteries when the heart is at rest, in between pumping.
Blood pressure that is lower than these figures indicates that the blood vessel walls are too relaxed and blood isn’t being efficiently pushed around the body, so nutrients that the blood carries, such as oxygen and iron, may not reach the tissues properly. Also the pulse rate tends to be fast, as the body tries to make up for the low pressure by pumping faster.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a major risk factor for heart disease and one of the biggest for a stroke.
Low blood pressure or hypotension—as opposed to hypertension: high blood pressure—is more common than we realise though it is not regarded with the same concern as it poses no immediate dangers to health.
However, in continental Europe, links with low mood and depression, chronic fatigue, sleep disorders and even migraine have emerged. Although at less risk of heart attack and stroke, hypotensive people may have a series of health problems that can lower overall quality of life.