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How Does Age Affect Blood Pressure

Maintain A Healthy Weight


Carrying excess weight can be dangerous to your heart health, as it requires your arteries to work harder. Set goals and track progress with a simple at home scale .

If you are overweight, If youre overweight, talk to your doctor about a weight loss regimen. Losing as little as 5 pounds can make a difference!

Being overweight or obese is also a risk factor for heart disease and type 2 diabetes, two conditions associated with high blood pressure.

What Your Blood Pressure Numbers Mean

Blood pressure is the force that blood applies to the walls of arteries as it’s pumped throughout the body.

“Your arteries are built to withstand some pressure, but there’s a limit to what they can handle,” says Dr. Nasir.

This is why blood pressure is measured and segmented based on how it affects our health. The four blood pressure categories are:

  • Normal blood pressure: Lower than 120/80 mmHg
  • Elevated blood pressure: Between 120-129/80 mmHg
  • High blood pressure, stage 1: Between 130-139/80-90 mmHg
  • High blood pressure, stage 2: 140/90 mmHg or higher

Only normal blood pressure is considered healthy. Having elevated or high blood pressure damages your heart and arteries by:

  • Forcing your heart to pump harder. Over time, this causes heart muscle to thicken, making it harder for the heart to fill with and pump blood.
  • Narrowing and hardening your arteries. This can limit the normal flow of blood.

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Blood Pressure Chart By Age

A normal blood pressure is important to everyone. Many people have a higher or lower blood pressure, an abnormal blood pressure not only causes discomfort, but can be a risk factor to many severe diseases, including stroke and kidney failure.

Your total blood pressure reading is determined by measuring your systolic and diastolic blood pressures. Systolic BP, the top number, measures the force your heart exerts on the walls of your arteries each time it beats. Diastolic BP, the bottom number, measures the force your heart exerts on the walls of your arteries in between beats. A blood pressure reading is presented as systolic/diastolic, as in 120/80, 120 represents the systolic reading, while 80 represents the diastolic reading. The measurement unit for blood pressure is mm Hg. Below is a blood pressure chart by age.

Normal Blood Pressure For Children

(PDF) Age

Normal BP ranges vary in children by age. The University of Iowa Stead Family Childrens Hospital provides this chart:

Normal Blood Pressure for Children
112128 mm Hg 6680 mm Hg

What is considered healthy for your child also varies by height, age, and sex. You can use Baylor College of Medicine’s calculator to see if your childs blood pressure reading is in a healthy range.

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Normal Blood Pressure For Men And Women By Age

A normal blood pressure reading indicates that the heart and blood vessels are not working too hard pushing blood and that the blood is not exerting too much pressure on the walls of the vessels, says Aseem Desai, M.D., a cardiologist at Providence Mission Hospital in Southern California. Recent data from the American Heart Association suggests the optimal normal reading for adults over 20 is lower than 120/80 mmHgVirani S, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics 2021 update . American Heart Association Journal. 2021 143:e254-e743. .

Dr. Desai notes blood pressure can vary depending on a persons age, gender, race and ethnicity, but it should still fall within the general normal range. While numbers lower than 120/80 are generally considered normal, Dr. Desai adds, The target blood pressure for treatment varies depending on age and associated co-morbidities .

Previously, guidance for normal blood pressure for adults varied by gender and specific age, but new data states normal blood pressure for adults as a collective is less than 120/80 mmHgHigh Blood Pressure Symptoms and Causes. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed 7/16/2021. .

When it comes to race and ethnicity, Dr. Desai says certain groups have a higher rate of hypertension. Non-Hispanic Black people have a significantly higher rate of hypertension compared to non-Hispanic white people, and Hispanics and non-Hispanic Asians have lower rates than the first two, he says.

How Can I Control My Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is very common in older people. As we age, our vascular system changes. Arteries get stiffer, so blood pressure goes up. This is true even for people who have heart-healthy habits. The good news is that blood pressure can be controlled in most people.

There are many lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risk of high blood pressure:

If these lifestyle changes don’t lower your blood pressure to a safe level, your doctor will also prescribe medicine. You may try several kinds or combinations of medicines before finding a plan that works best for you. Medicine can control your blood pressure, but it can’t cure it. You will likely need to take medicine for the rest of your life. Plan with your doctor how to manage your blood pressure.

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When To Contact A Doctor

A person should ask a doctor to test their blood pressure every 2 years beginning at age 18. People older than age 40 or younger but with an elevated risk of high blood pressure should ask their doctor for a blood pressure test annually.

If a person has abnormal blood pressure, they may need to check their blood pressure more often.

Isolated incidences of low blood pressure are not a cause for concern, but a person should seek medical advice if other symptoms accompany it. A person should record their symptoms, activities, and when they occur to assist with diagnosis.

It is important that a person seek medical advice if they think they may have high blood pressure, or know that they do and do not have it under control.

Healthcare professionals can help people put together a plan of action to lower their blood pressure and decrease the risk of long-term complications.

How Age Affects Blood Pressure

Why does blood pressure go up with age? | Blood pressure control

For infants, toddlers, and pre-adolescent aged children, doctors follow separate guidelines and standards to define high blood pressure. Average readings tend to be lower at a younger age and increaseas you grow older.During late adolescence doctors typically begin to follow the standard adult guidelines for high bloodpressure.

As you age, your risk of developing high blood pressure increases.

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These results were pooled together with results from a recent study and published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Blood Pressure Reading Chart

Below is a blood pressure reading chart for you.

*Remember that the larger figure in your reading represents the systolic value the smaller figure represents your diastolic value. Systolic is the measurement of pressure when the heart is beating. Diastolic is the measurement of pressure when the heart is resting.

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Discover How You Can Stabilize Your Blood Pressure Lower Bad Cholesterol While Maintaining Good Cholesterol And Balancing Your Blood

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Comparison Of Multivariable Relative Risks For Cardiovascular Death According To Blood Pressure Parameters Across Four Age Groups Sbp = Systolic Blood Pressure Dbp = Diastolic Blood Pressure Pp = Pulse Pressure Map = Mean Arterial Pressure

Effects on cardiovascular system

Because systolic BP was a consistent predictor of CVD death in the analysis of the entire cohort and systolic BP is the easiest to use clinically, we considered whether adding another BP parameter would enhance the predictive ability of any model across ages . Consideration of an additional BP parameter did not improve a multivariable model that already contained systolic BP in any age range, and the RR for a second parameter was consistently reduced to the null. These results indicate that a second BP parameter was not necessary in any age range, and it is sufficient to use systolic BP alone in the assessment of risk for CVD death.

Comparison of Cox multivariable RR of cardiovascular death for SBP and three other blood pressure parameters among men in four age ranges


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The Effects Of Age And Ethnicity On Blood Pressure

While the exact cause of high blood pressure isnt known, modern medical science has made it clear that several factors from bodyweight to age have a significant impact on its development and severity.

One of the factors most correlated with high blood pressure is age. As we get older, the likelihood of us developing high blood pressure increases. People aged 35 and older, for example, face an elevated risk of developing high blood pressure.

In this guide, well look at the effects of age and race on high blood pressure. Well also look into the worrying trend of young individuals particularly young men affected by high blood pressure and its myriad health effects.

Signs And Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure may not have any symptoms and so hypertension has been labeled “the silent killer.” Longstanding high blood pressure can lead to multiple complications including heart attack, kidney disease, or stroke.

Some people experience symptoms with their high blood pressure. These symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • The Feeling of pulsations in the neck or head
  • Nausea

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The Results Demonstrated Significant Reduction Of Bad Cholesterol And Increase Of Good Cholesterol As Well As An Increase In Quality Of Blood

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Choosing A Blood Pressure Monitor

Does Drinking Alcohol Affect Your Blood Pressure

If you’re planning to take your blood pressure at home, it’s important to have a reliable blood pressure monitor. The AHA recommends an automatic, cuff-style, bicep monitor, but there are other options.

When selecting a blood pressure monitor, consider the following:

  • Fit: To ensure a proper fit, measure around your upper arm and choose a monitor that comes with the correct size cuff.
  • Number of people: If more than one person will be using the monitor, make sure to choose one that fits everyone.
  • Features: Some blood pressure monitors offer extra tech features, like Bluetooth and app connectivity. If you don’t think you’ll benefit from these extras, go ahead and choose one that is efficient, easy to use, and more affordable.
  • Budget: High-quality blood pressure monitors vary dramatically in price, from around $25 to well over $100. Keep in mind that a good monitor is a great investment and that you will be using it daily for several years.
  • Other considerations: The AHA notes that when selecting a blood pressure monitor for a senior, pregnant person, or child, you should make sure it is validated for these conditions.

If you need help selecting an at-home device, check out these blood pressure monitors, which were vetted by the Verywell team based on the above criteria.

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Could Too Low Blood Pressure In Old Age Increase Mortality

Professor Sven Streit, MD, MSc PhD, is a practicing general practitioner in a rural community and Assistant Professor of General Internal Medicine and Primary Care at the University of Bern. He is past-president of the Swiss Organisation of Young GPs and served as chair of the European Organisation of Young GPs . He tweets . This blog was originally published on OUPblog.

With increasing age, blood pressure rises as a consequence of arterial stiffness, caused by the biological process of ageing and arteries becoming clogged with fatty substances, otherwise known as arteriosclerosis. Large hypertension trials showed that lowering blood pressure in people over 60 is beneficial and lowers the risk of heart attacks, stroke, and all-cause mortality, even in people over 80. Since arterial hypertension, high blood pressure in the arteries, is the most important preventable cause of cardiovascular disease, it seemed obvious for at least two decades to treat hypertension without restrictions even patients over 60.

Since the appropriateness of lowering blood pressure remains controversial in the oldest-old, we followed patients drawn from the general population for five years to test whether low blood pressure in patients receiving antihypertensive medicine, leads to cognitive decline and increased mortality compared to patients with higher blood pressure.

What Causes High Blood Pressure

The cause of high blood pressure, or hypertension, is often unknown. It develops over time and often happens as a result of unhealthy lifestyle choices, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .

Occasionally, some people have hypertension caused by an underlying condition, such as kidney disease, adrenal gland tumors or thyroid disorders, says Dr. Wong. Other conditions like pregnancy, diabetes and obesity can also increase your risk.

Some people are susceptible to high blood pressure from certain medications, such as birth control pills, some decongestants and even some over-the-counter pain relievers, says Wong. Illicit drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines may also raise blood pressure.

High blood pressure is extremely common. A 2017 to 2018 survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics found 45.5% of U.S. adults have hypertensionOstchega Y, et al. Hypertension prevalence among adults aged 18 and over: United States, 2017-2018. National Center for Health Statistics. Accessed 7/16/2021. .

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Some High Blood Pressure Risks You Can’t Change

How To Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally

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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Ascertainment Of Cvd Mortality

Cardiovascular disease death was the end point for this study. Using the National Death Index in 1990, death certificates were obtained for the respondents who died before the end of 1989. The deaths were classified by trained nosologists using the first revision of the Ninth International Classification of Diseases in conjunction with the Automated Classification of Medical Entities Decision Tables to manually select underlying cause of death. This analysis included total CVD mortality , which consisted of ischemic heart disease, MI, cerebrovascular disease, and other CVD.


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