That old belief about 120/80 blood pressure readings being ideal for all people does not apply to all age groups. If your blood pressure reading is 120/80, this is an acceptable range as long as you are between the ages of 15 and 40. At 10 years of age, your blood pressure should be nowhere near 120/80 as it would be too high. It so happens that blood pressure readings, which are expressed by the force of the heart’s ventricular contractions, vary substantially as we age.

Blood pressure readings start with the systolic range, which refers to the left cardiac ventricle, over the diastolic range, which refers to the diastolic pressure as the chambers of the heart are filled with blood. When these ranges reach upper levels, the risk of stroke, heart disease and deterioration of kidney functions increase.


In general, adults will want to keep their blood pressure as low as possible, but not so low that their systolic reading is under 100 and their diastolic is lower than 65.


When we are born, our blood pressure can be as low as 75/50 and as high as 100/75. Over time, our cardiac tissue ages and our blood pressure readings start climbing.


From 20 to 40 years old, 120/80 is considered to be a normal range while 135/86 may be too high and a reason for concern. In general, blood pressure can be kept lower with the right amount of exercise, proper nutrition and avoiding intoxicants such as alcohol and nicotine.