High Blood Pressure Chart
The chart below shows measures for normal and high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association .
Doctors measure blood pressure in millimeters of mercury .
Systolic pressure measures the pressure in the arteries as the heart contracts and is the top number on a blood pressure reading. Diastolic, which is the lower number, represents the blood pressure when the heart is resting between beats.
- congenital conditions, such as Cushings syndrome, acromegaly, or pheochromocytoma
Sometimes, there is no apparent cause. In this case, a doctor will diagnose primary hypertension.
Consuming a high fat diet, carrying excess weight, drinking a lot of alcohol, smoking tobacco, and the use of some medications also increase the risk.
Treatment will depend on several factors, including:
- how high the blood pressure is
- the risk of cardiovascular disease or a stroke
The doctor will recommend different treatments as blood pressure increases. For slightly high blood pressure, they may suggest making lifestyle changes and monitoring the blood pressure.
If blood pressure is high, they will recommend medication. The options may change over time, according to how severe the hypertension is and whether complications arise, such as kidney disease. Some people may need a combination of several different medications.
How Is Blood Pressure Measured
Health care providers measure blood pressure with a cuff that wraps around the upper arm. When the cuff inflates, it squeezes a large artery, stopping the blood flow for a moment. Blood pressure is measured as air is slowly let out of the cuff, which lets blood flow through the artery again.
Blood pressure is measured in two numbers:
You hear blood pressure reported as the first number “over” the second number, like 120 over 80 or 120/80.
In Most Cases High Blood Pressure Does Not Cause Headaches Or Nosebleeds
- The best evidence indicates that high blood pressure does not cause headaches or nosebleeds, except in the case of hypertensive crisis, a medical emergency when blood pressure is 180/120 mm Hg or higher. If your blood pressure is unusually high AND you have headache or nosebleed and are feeling unwell, wait five minutes and retest. If your reading remains at 180/120 mm Hg or higher, call 911.
- If you are experiencing severe headaches or nosebleeds and are otherwise unwell, contact your doctor as they could be symptoms of other health conditions.
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Blood Pressure And The Heart
Theres a reason why your blood pressure is taken every time you visit a doctors office or hospital, regardless of the complaint that brought you there. High blood pressure is rightly known as the silent killer. It often carries no symptoms or warning signs but can drastically increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. The higher the number, the harder your heart is having to work to pump blood around your body and the more likely it is that damage is being done to the heart muscle. Since all parts of your body rely on circulation, though, its not just your heart that high blood pressure can impact. If blood doesnt flow easily, it can harm your arteries as well as vital organs such as the kidneys, eyes, and brain.
High blood pressure has been shown to damage the tiny blood vessels in the parts of your brain responsible for cognition and memory, greatly increasing your risk of developing Alzheimers disease or another dementia. Being diagnosed with cardiovascular disease can also take an emotional toll, affecting your outlook and making you more susceptible to anxiety and depression. And just as blood pressure may have an impact your mood, the reverse can also be true:
Anxiety Causes High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is not a constant. It changes all throughout the day, going from high to low depending on what you’re doing, what you’ve eaten, how you’re feeling, and so on. At any moment you could go through some type of blood pressure fluctuation that causes a high reading, and that reading says nothing about your overall health or wellness.
What is high blood pressure?
Although there are some outside factors that play a role, generally doctors look at blood pressure using the following chart:
- Low Blood Pressure: <90/60
- Normal Blood Pressure: 90/60 to 140/90
- High Blood Pressure: 140/90 and Up
The first number refers to the systolic pressure. That is the pressure on your arteries when your heart contracts . The diastolic is the pressure on your arteries when your heart is at rest. Systolic tends to jump up and down throughout the day, while diastolic should stay close to constant .
Although there are risks involved with low blood pressure, most doctors pay especially close attention to high blood pressure. High blood pressure readings indicate that something could be wrong with your cardiovascular system. Because of the risks associated with high blood pressure, it is important to see a doctor. But if other factors have been ruled out, it is possible that anxiety may be to blame.
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What Are The Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure
One in three adults in the U.S. has high blood pressure and many dont even know it. How can this be? Because high blood pressure rarely has any symptoms.;
High blood pressure or hypertension is known as a silent disease because you may not feel any symptoms at all, says;Priscilla Bullen, FNP-BC,;of Riverside Primary Care Hidenwood. It increases your risk of heart disease, heart failure, stroke and heart attack.
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against your blood vessel walls. High blood pressure is when that force is higher than normal. It often has no signs or symptoms and can lead to other health problems if its not treated.
Some High Blood Pressure Risks You Can’t Change
Anyone can get high blood pressure. But, some people have a greater chance of having it because of things they can’t change. These are:
- Age. The chance of having high blood pressure increases as you get older.
- Gender. Before age 55, men have a greater chance of having high blood pressure. Women are more likely to have high blood pressure after menopause.
- Family history. High blood pressure tends to run in some families.
- Race. African Americans are at increased risk for high blood pressure.
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Protecting Your Cardiovascular Health
The good news is that your doctor can identify high blood pressure with regular checks. If found, it can be successfully treated using a combination of medication and heart-healthy lifestyle changesor sometimes, lifestyle changes alone.
Making small changes to your habits, such as eating a lower sodium diet, getting regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol intake, and quitting smoking can lower your blood pressure by 10-20 mmHg or more. And, if your doctor has prescribed blood pressure medication, it is important that you take it as directed.
Taking high blood pressure seriously and following your doctors treatment instructions can lower your risks of serious complications and make a big difference in your overall health.
If you have uncontrolled high blood pressure or think you might be at risk, schedule an appointment with your primary care;provider today.
What Causes High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure causes are usually related to medical conditions, diet and lifestyle, although an exact explanation cannot always be determined. Being overweight, consuming too much salt, not exercising regularly, smoking and drinking to excess can all be causes of high blood pressure, as can underlying health conditions including diabetes, kidney disease and hormone problems. Certain medicines may also lead to high blood pressure2.
Some individuals may be at an increased risk of high blood pressure. This includes overweight individuals, smokers, those with long-term sleep deprivation and those with a family history of high blood pressure. Individuals from an African or Caribbean origin also have a higher risk of developing hypertension, as do older individuals as the risk increases as you age.
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What Is A Normal Blood Pressure
Both the American Heart Association and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force have published guidelines for defining healthy and elevated blood pressure. You can follow either guidelines, depending on what you and your doctor agree is acceptable.
|USPSTF Guidelines for Blood Pressure|
|Normal||Systolic: Less than 120 mm Hg Diastolic:Less than 80 mm Hg|
|Elevated||Diastolic: <Less than 80 mm Hg|
|AHA Guidelines for Blood Pressure|
|Normal||Systolic: Less than 120 mm Hg Diastolic: Less than 80 mm Hg|
|Elevated||Diastolic: Less than 80 mm Hg|
|High Blood Pressure Stage 1||Systolic: 130-139 mm Hg|
|High Blood Pressure Stage 2||Systolic: 140 mm Hg or higher Diastolic: 90 mm Hg or higher|
|Hypertensive Crisis||Systolic: Higher than 180 mm Hg Diastolic: Higher than 120 mm Hg|
Making Changes If You Have Anxiety Or Depression
If your high blood pressure is co-occurring with a mental health problem such as depression or anxiety, it can be even tougher to find the energy and motivation to make the necessary lifestyle changes. Just thinking about exercising or preparing a healthy meal, for example, can seem overwhelming. But by focusing all your efforts on one tiny change at a time, youll find that youre capable of more than you realized.
Take the first step. It could be as simple as going for a walk or downloading a meditation app or buying some nicotine patches. It can take time for lifestyle changes to register as a reduction in blood pressurebut sometimes they can improve your mood much sooner. Taking that first step is always the hardest.
Focus on small steps. Its easy to get overwhelmed by daily life when youre battling depression, anxiety, or another mood disorder. By taking small but positive steps each day, though, youll find that your energy and outlook will gradually start to improve. Once you feel happier and more positive, youll find it easier to forge ahead with lifestyle changes and see the results in both your blood pressure readings and your overall outlook and wellbeing.
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Anxiety Causes Low Blood Pressure
What you may not know is that some forms of anxiety can cause low blood pressure as well. During periods of anxiety attacks, a person may start to hyperventilate. Hyperventilation occurs when the body gets too much oxygen through either fast breathing or taking breaths that are too deep.
Hyperventilation is known to cause drops in blood pressure that can lead to feelings of lightheadedness and dizziness. So while high blood pressure is more common during anxiety, low blood pressure may occur as well.
Blood Pressure Checks During Pregnancy
If you are pregnant, you should have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis, even if it is not high.
Watching your blood pressure while you are pregnant reduces your risk of developing pregnancy-induced hypertension. This can lead to a serious condition called;pre-eclampsia where there is a problem with the placenta .
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How Does Blood Pressure Work
Blood pressure is the force against blood vessel walls as the heart pumps blood. When the heart squeezes and pushes blood into the vessels, blood pressure goes up. It comes down when the heart relaxes.
Blood pressure changes from minute to minute. It’s affected by activity and rest, body temperature, diet, emotions, posture, and medicines.
High Blood Pressure: 6 Signs And Symptoms Of Hypertension
- 20 Sep 2018
High blood pressure or hypertension is often associated with few or no symptoms. Theres a reason why hypertension is called the silent killer because many people suffer from it without facing any symptoms.
However, just because high blood pressure is often symptomless doesnt mean its harmless. In fact, uncontrolled high blood pressure, or hypertension, causes damage to your arteries, especially those in the kidneys and eyes. High blood pressure is also a risk factor for stroke, heart attack, and other cardiovascular problems.
If you are worried that you could be suffering from hypertension, here are 6 signs that you need to watch out for.
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Your Reading Is Above 140/90
Blood pressure readings consist of two numbers. The top number is your systolic blood pressure and the bottom one is your diastolic blood pressure. Generally, a normal blood pressure reading was considered to be more than 120 over 80 and less than 140 over 90. However, in 2017, major heart health organisations around the globe unanimously decided to lower the blood pressure levels for the diagnosis of hypertension from the older threshold of 140/90 mm Hg and 150/80 mm Hg to 130/80 mm Hg and higher for all adults. Based on this new criteria, if your numbers are over 130/80 mm Hg then you should consult a doctor immediately or find ways to lower your blood pressure.
It is essential to keep tabs on your blood pressure, especially when you lead an unhealthy life or have a family history of hypertension. You can easily purchase a blood pressure monitor from your local pharmacy and drugstore to keep a check on your blood pressure. The readings are very accurate and similar to what you would get in a hospital.
Your blood pressure keeps changing constantly to adjust to your bodys activity level, hydration, sleep, food intake, and other factors. In order to get an accurate reading, you may need to take several readings of your blood pressure over time.
Pick a time when you are calm and well-hydrated, and repeat the test weekly or monthly under the same conditions. Write down the dates and readings so that you can take them with you on your next doctors visit.
What Do Blood Pressure Numbers Mean
Your blood pressure consists of two numbers: systolic and diastolic. Someone with a systolic pressure of 117 and a diastolic pressure of 78 has a blood pressure of 117/78, or “117 over 78.”
Blood pressure that is too high increases your risk for heart attack and stroke. Your blood pressure should be less than 140/90 . If you have diabetes, it should be less than 130/80 .;If you are 80 years and older, it should be less than 150/90 .
If the first number is:
OR the second number is:
Your blood pressure has:
90 or more
In general, the lower your blood pressure, the better. A blood pressure reading of less than 90/60 is normal as long as you feel okay.
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Putting On The Brakes
Myth: Once you start feeling better, it’s OK to stop taking your medicine for high blood pressure.
Fact: If your doctor has prescribed medicine for your high blood pressure, follow his or her exact directions closely. It would be dangerous for you to decrease dosage or stop taking the medication without your doctor’s approval.
Do I Have High Blood Pressure
One reason to visit your doctor regularly is to have your blood pressure checked. Routine checks of your blood pressure will help pick up an early rise in blood pressure, even though you might feel fine. If there’s an indication that your blood pressure is high at two or more checkups, the doctor may ask you to check your blood pressure at home at different times of the day. If the pressure stays high, even when you are relaxed, the doctor may suggest exercise, changes in your diet, and, most likely, medications.
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Temporary Spikes Are Not Dangerous
Those with chronic anxiety may be more prone to high blood pressure spikes, but the body does do a good job of adjusting and blood pressure often gets back to its normal rate for most of the day. You can’t necessarily feel high blood pressure, and while any stress on the body can cause anxiety, it’s more likely that your anxiety causes the spikes than the other way around.
It’s never a bad idea to speak with a doctor about your blood pressure concerns either. Only a doctor can tell you if there is something you should worry about. Also, remember that the more you worry about your blood pressure, the more anxiety you’ll experience, and the more likely you’ll suffer from these blood pressure spikes.
What If Just The First Blood Pressure Number Is High
For older people, often the first number is 130 or higher, but the second number is less than 80. This problem is called isolated systolic hypertension, which is due to age-related stiffening of the major arteries. It is the most common form of high blood pressure in older people and can lead to serious health problems in addition to shortness of breath during light physical activity, lightheadedness upon standing too fast, and falls. Isolated systolic hypertension is treated in the same way as regular high blood pressure but may require more than one type of blood pressure medication. If your doctor determines that your systolic pressure is above a normal level for your age, ask how you can lower it.
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Regular Blood Pressure Checks For Over Over 40’s
The only way to find out whether you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked regularly. Ask your GP when you are next due for yours to be checked.
Blood pressure checks are usually available on request at most GP surgeries and health clinics. Some surgeries have home monitoring devices available,;which you may be able to use at the;time of blood pressure medication start up or change. Many also have a policy of arranging regular checks for you.
Adults who are over 40 and have not been diagnosed with high blood pressure should have their blood pressure checked at least once every five years. However, your blood pressure should ideally be checked more frequently, particularly if you have any contributory risk factors.