Children's Nutrition Research Center

Body Composition Laboratory

Age-based Pediatric Blood Pressure Reference Charts

Why monitor blood pressure (BP)?

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is an important health issue in children, because of its association with obesity. High blood pressure is considered a risk factor for heart disease and stroke, and high BP in childhood has been linked to high BP in adulthood.

This calculator can help to determine whether a child has a healthy blood pressure for his/her height, age and gender. In boys and girls, the normal range of blood pressure varies based on height percentile and age. This calculator automatically adjusts for differences in height, age and gender, calculating a child's height percentile along with blood pressure percentile. The normal blood pressure range, while steadily increasing with age, will shift based on the child's height.

The BP reference data include the 50th, 90th, 95th, and 99th percentiles for age and height for both boys and girls. So the graphs on this page show the upper half of the blood pressure range found in children. Normal BP is defined as systolic and diastolic blood pressures that are below the 90th percentile. The systolic number represents BP in blood vessels when a heart beats. The diastolic number is the pressure in blood vessels between beats, when the heart is at rest.

The graphs on this page have been updated to reflect the most recent guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The new normative pediatric BP tables are now based on normal-weight children. Unlike the previous tables, these BP reference values do not include children and adolescents with overweight and obesity. The strong association of both overweight and obesity with elevated BP and hypertension (HTN) was thought to bias the previous results. (See Flynn et al, Pediatrics, 2017)

The original BP calculator can still be found here: Pediatric BP Calculator, Version 1.

Subject
Measurements
Height Results
  1. Z-Score:     Percentile:
BP Reference Guide
  1.  

All values must be entered in order to calculate percentiles for BP and Height.

Age Range
1 - 17 yrs

Percentiles
A percentile shows the relative position of the child's measurement (such as Blood Pressure or Height) among children of the same sex and age.
For example, a boy at the 25th percentile for height is taller than 25% of boys his age. If a girl is at the 40th percentile for height, she is taller than 40% of girls at that same age.

Systolic BP Percentile
  1. Percentile:
Diastolic BP Percentile
  1. Percentile:

How do we evaluate blood pressure

Blood pressure is not always consistent, and can vary even when the child is resting. Thus, elevated BP readings should be repeated and confirmed over several visits before a child is identified as having hypertension. The most precise measure of a child's BP is an average of multiple measurements taken over several weeks (or even months) by a health professional.

A common approach is to obtain 3 assessments from different days to more reliably measure blood pressure.

Reference Data

The tools provided here are based on publicly available data from the following source:

Flynn JT, Kaelber DC, Baker-Smith CM, et al. Clinical Practice Guideline for Screening and Management of High Blood Pressure in Children and Adolescents. Pediatrics 2017; 140(3):e20171904.

BP-for-age status categories and their related percentile ranges are shown in the following table:

Definitions of BP Categories & Stages
Category For Children Aged 1 to <13 y For Children Aged ≥13 y
Normal BP: <90th percentile <120/<80 mmHg
Elevated BP: ≥90th to <95th percentile or
120/80 mmHg to <95th percentile
(whichever is lower)
120/<80 to 129/<80 mmHg
Stage 1 HTN: ≥95th to <95th percentile+12 mmHg or
130/80 to 139/89 mmHg
(whichever is lower)
130/80 to 139/89 mmHg
Stage 2 HTN: ≥95th percentile+12 mmHg or
≥140/90 mmHg
(whichever is lower)
≥140/90

Simplified BP Table

The new guidelines also include a simplified table designed to be used as a screening tool to identify children and adolescents needing further evaluation. Thus, the simplified table may be used to determine when a BP measurement should be repeated. It is not meant to be used to diagnose elevated BP or HTN. It is important to use the values in the BP reference tables or tools such as the calculators on this page to diagnose elevated BP or HTN. Depending on the child’s height and age, values in the simplified table may differ from reference values.

Simplified Screening BP Table - Further Evaluation Required
BOYS GIRLS
Age Systolic Diastolic Systolic Diastolic
1 98 52 98 54
2 100 55 101 58
3 101 58 102 60
4 102 60 103 62
5 103 63 104 64
6 105 66 105 67
7 106 68 106 68
8 107 69 107 69
9 107 70 108 71
10 108 72 109 72
11 110 74 111 74
12 113 75 114 75
≥13 120 80 120 80

Please note

Individual results, when compared to other children, can be affected by many factors. Thus, this software should not be used for medical diagnostic or treatment purposes. Additionally, the authors and their affiliated institutions are not liable for any damages to users or third parties arising from the use of this software.

This software is protected under international copyright law. Unauthorized duplication or distribution is a violation of copyright. Entering this section of the web site implies acceptance of the conditions stated above.

To cite this source

Shypailo RJ (2018) Age-based Pediatric Blood Pressure Reference Charts. Retrieved from the Baylor College of Medicine, Children's Nutrition Research Center, Body Composition Laboratory Web Site:
http://www.bcm.edu/bodycomplab/BPappZjs/BPvAgeAPPz.htm

Supporting publications

National High Blood Pressure Education Program Working Group on High Blood Pressure in Children and Adolescents. The fourth report on the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of high blood pressure in children and adolescents. Pediatrics 2004; 114(2 Suppl 4th Report): 555-76.

Rosner B, Cook N, Portman R, Daniels S, Falkner B. Determination of blood pressure percentiles in normal-weight children: some methodological issues. Am J Epidemiol 2008; 167(6): 653-66.

Flynn JT, Kaelber DC, Baker-Smith CM, et al. Clinical Practice Guideline for Screening and Management of High Blood Pressure in Children and Adolescents. Pediatrics 2017; 140(3):e20171904.


USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center
1100 Bates Street, Houston, Texas 77030
© Copyright 2000-2019 Baylor College of Medicine. All Rights Reserved.

Contact Us.