Understanding 118/80 Blood Pressure: What It Means for Your Heart Health

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4 min read Updated on December 5, 2023

Did you know that well-controlled high blood pressure (hypertension) drops your risk of cardiovascular disease to the same level as someone with normal blood pressure?

Trying to understand your blood pressure reading is such a commendable move, health-wise. So, if your blood pressure is 118/80mmHg, you probably want to know whether this is normal or classified as high blood pressure. Let’s get right into that.

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Is 118/80 Pressure Good for You?

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If you get your blood pressure checked and it is 118/80mmHg, you might be unsure whether that is considered elevated or normal.

The good thing is that blood pressure falls within normal ranges (less than 120/80). This means it won’t put excess stress on your artery walls and increase the risk of heart disease.

However, with 118/80mmHg, the systolic blood pressure is close to the upper limit, so some mild lifestyle changes might help bring it down just a bit. There’s very little risk if it stays there, though.

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How to Interpret Blood Pressure Readings?

Blood pressure is the force your blood flow exerts on the walls of your blood vessels. With high blood pressure, this force can damage arteries in many parts of the body, predisposing to cardiovascular diseases like stroke and heart attack.

There are two blood pressure numbers. With blood pressure, the first number is the systolic blood pressure, which is the force on the arteries when the heart contracts. The second number is the diastolic blood pressure, which is the force on the arteries when the heart relaxes.

After blood pressure numbers, you’ll see “mmHg,” which means “millimeters of mercury.” This is the unit for blood pressure, and it comes from the original BP monitors, which used the height of a column of mercury to determine blood pressure readings.

Healthy blood pressure ranges

Blood pressure less than 120/80mmHg is considered normal. Your arteries can easily handle the systolic and diastolic pressure in the normal range, and there’s no direct risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Keeping your blood pressure readings under this level is a sign that your cardiovascular system is working the way it should and is feeding your organs properly.

Understanding hypertension

High blood pressure is a reading above 130/80mmHg. Here, the high pressure has the potential to damage the vessels over time.

There are different stages of high blood pressure, though. The blood pressure chart below will talk about them, with the systolic pressure followed by diastolic:

  • Elevated blood pressure: 120–129 and <80mmHg
  • Hypertension stage 1: 130–139 or 80–89mmHg
  • Hypertension stage 2: >140 or >90mmHg
  • Hypertensive crisis: >180 and/or >120mmHg

Medical Attention and Monitoring

Smiling man measuring his blood pressure

High blood pressure is sometimes called the “silent killer” because there are usually no obvious symptoms until your blood pressure gets really high.

This emphasizes the importance of visiting your healthcare professional to have it checked regularly. If you’re found to have hypertension, your doctor can advise lifestyle changes or prescribe medication to bring it under control.

It is also important to monitor your blood pressure regularly at home too. It can help uncover white-coat hypertension but also help you stay more consistent with management.

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Potential Risks of High Blood Pressure

It is extremely essential that you know the dangers of uncontrolled high blood pressure. This way, you can understand why proper management is taken so seriously.

High blood pressure can negatively impact your overall health in so many ways, predisposing you to some of the diseases below:

  • Heart failure
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Aneurysm
  • Kidney disease/kidney failure
  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Changes/loss of vision
  • Sexual dysfunction

Lifestyle Changes to Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure

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Apart from medication, there are many lifestyle modifications that you can make to lower blood pressure. The good thing is that many of these are very effective.

These lifestyle changes can be hard to stick to by yourself, though. Fortunately, an app like Cardi Health can give you reminders to take medication and do your blood pressure measurement, as well as give you personalized fitness programs and meal plans to help you live healthier and control your high blood pressure.

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What is considered a normal blood pressure reading?

A reading less than 120/80mmHg is considered normal.

Why is high blood pressure called the “silent killer”?

It often presents no obvious symptoms until reaching severe levels, potentially leading to serious health issues without prior warning.

How can I naturally maintain a healthy blood pressure?

Adopting lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, a heart-healthy diet, reducing sodium and alcohol intake, and quitting smoking can help maintain healthy blood pressure levels.

What are the potential risks if high blood pressure is left uncontrolled?

Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to heart failure, stroke, kidney disease, and other serious conditions.


Your blood pressure tells you how hard your heart is pumping blood and the damage that force may be doing to your arteries. High blood pressure can cause problems throughout the body.

This is why it is incredibly important to strive to keep your blood pressure controlled and within normal range. Your health will certainly thank you for it.

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Robertas Pranevicius is a medical advisor at Cardi Health who earned his Master’s degree and cardiology residency from the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences. He specializes in interventional cardiology and performs both diagnostic and therapeutic invasive procedures. In recent years, he has focused on structural heart disease treatment, such as transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI).

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