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What Are Good Blood Pressure Numbers

Normal Blood Pressure In Women

Good Question: What Do Your Blood Pressure Numbers Mean?

High blood pressure is largely treatable with lifestyle and medications, but only slightly over half of women with high blood pressure have their condition under control says a recent study from the American Heart Association . So what is normal blood pressure for women?

You can work to stay healthy by monitoring your numbers, considering healthy lifestyle changes, and following your doctors orders. Health tools such as Lark, which is provided free of charge by many health plans and includes guidance on blood pressure reduction and free tools to track it at home, can help you.

What Is Essential High Blood Pressure In Women

Essential hypertension is also known as primary high blood pressure. Over 9 out of 10 cases of hypertension are essential, and this is the kind of hypertension most people are referring to when they talk about hypertension or high blood pressure. This kind of hypertension is the direct result of factors such as lifestyle choices or genetic factors. Related lifestyle factors can include the following.

  • Being overweight
  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep

In contrast to essential high blood pressure, secondary high blood pressure is high blood pressure that occurs due to the effects of another condition or medical cause, such as kidney disease, adrenal disease, or medications, such as some over-the-counter painkillers and oral contraceptive pills .

Stage 1 And Stage 2 High Blood Pressure In Women

Stage 1 hypertension is when your blood pressure is 140-159/90-99 mmHg. You would also be considered to have stage 1 hypertension if your systolic blood pressure is 140-159 and your diastolic blood pressure is under 90, or if your diastolic blood pressure is 90-99 and your systolic blood pressure is under 140 as states Heart.org of the AHA.

Stage 2 hypertension is when your blood pressure is over160/100 mmHg, or if your systolic blood pressure is over 160, or if your diastolic blood pressure is over 100. Stage 2 hypertension puts you at higher risk for complications of high blood pressure than stage 1 hypertension does.

High blood pressure is not unique to women, it affects nearly 1 out of every 3 American adults according to the Centers for Disease Control , and another 1 out of 3 are pre-hypertensive and at risk for developing hypertension.

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Here Is Information About One Of The Most Dangerous And Sneakiest Health Conditions: Blood Pressure

What is blood pressure?

Blood pressure is a measure of how hard your blood pushes against your arteries as it moves through your body. High blood pressure occurs when your blood pressure, the force of your blood against the walls of your blood vessels, is consistently too high. High blood pressure is harmful because it makes the heart work harder and less efficiently.

Why blood pressure matters

High blood pressure can cause significant damage to your eyes, kidneys, brain and blood vessels. Left untreated, it can lead to kidney failure or vision loss. High blood pressure also can affect your ability to think, remember and learn. There’s even a type of dementia vascular dementia caused by high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is one of the most dangerous health conditions because of how sneaky it can be. You can have high blood pressure for years without experiencing any symptoms. Even without symptoms, damage to your heart can still occur. Fortunately, high blood pressure can be easily detected. And once you know you have high blood pressure, you can work with your health care provider to control it.

How is blood pressure measured?

Blood pressure is traditionally measured using an inflatable cuff around your arm. The cuff is inflated, and the cuff gently tightens on your arm. The air in the cuff is slowly released and a small gauge measures your blood pressure.

Your blood pressure is recorded as two numbers:

What is considered normal?

What you can do

Know your numbers

More Than Blood Pressure

3 Reasons You Really Need to Know Your Blood Pressure ...

The new guidelines have other changes, too. First, they don’t offer different recommendations for people younger or older than age 65. “This is because the SPRINT study looked at all patients regardless of age and didn’t break down groups above or below a certain age,” says Dr. Conlin.

The guidelines also redefined the various categories of hypertension. It eliminated the category of prehypertension, which had been defined as systolic blood pressure of 120 to 139 mm Hg or diastolic pressure of 80 to 89 mm Hg. Instead, people with those readings are now categorized as having either elevated pressure or Stage 1 hypertension .

A reading of 140/90 mm Hg or higher is considered Stage 2 hypertension, and anything higher than 180/120 mm Hg is hypertensive crisis.

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How Can I Be More Active

  • Check first with your healthcare provider before increasing your physical activity. Ask your provider what type and amount of exercise is right for you.
  • Choose aerobic activities such as walking, biking or swimming.
  • Start slowly and increase activity gradually. Aim for a regular routine of activity 5 times a week for 30 to 45 minutes each session.

Monitoring Blood Pressure In Women

Taking regular blood pressure readings can help you keep blood pressure down. Those readings act as reminders to keep up with your healthy lifestyle and any medications. They also let you learn patterns, so you can easily know if something is wrong and it is time to contact your healthcare provider.

If you have hypertension, taking blood pressure twice a day can be burdensome because it is hard to remember, but you can get help. Your Lark health coach can remind you and automatically store your measurements so you can see trends and share them with your doctor.

In addition, your healthcare provider might prescribe hypertension medications if you are unable to control your blood pressure with these lifestyle strategies.

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What Numbers Mean High Blood Pressure What Numbers Mean Normal Blood Pressure

Normal blood pressure is at or under 120 over 80.

In November 2017, blood pressure guidelines were modified. Any blood pressure measurement at or above 130 over 80 is now considered high. And thats what we in the medical community call hypertension. These numbers are down from the old recommendation of 140 over 90.

In the past, many people in the United States were considered prehypertension. The new recommendations get rid of that category, and now almost half of U.S. adults fall into the category of hypertension. That could seem shocking. But patients who are in this category should already be discussing their blood pressure numbers with their primary care doctor. If they arent, now is a good time to connect with their medical provider and come up with a plan for treatment.

Increasing Diet Quality For Women

What Are The True Healthy Blood Pressure Numbers

Most Americans get too much sodium and not enough potassium, and that can be a blood pressure-raising combination. Shifting the balance can help lower blood pressure by a few points. These choices can help you change the balance to get more potassium and less sodium.

Good foods for women watching thei blood pressure:

  • Consume more beans, vegetables, fruit, fish, and yogurt.
  • Watch processed and prepared foods, such as canned foods, snack foods, processed meats, and frozen foods.
  • Limit prepared foods, such as fast food and deli salads.
  • Cut out salty foods, such as salty sauces and dressings, cheese, and pickles.
  • Vitamin C: in vegetables and fruit.
  • Vitamin D: in fortified milk and fatty fish.
  • Fiber: in vegetables, beans, nuts, whole grains, and fruit.
  • Calcium: in dairy products, dairy substitutes, and leafy greens.

Sodium and potassium may be the nutrients you hear about most often for blood pressure, but other nutrients can also help keep your numbers in check.

As you think about boosting good nutrients, you can also think about limiting the bad ones.

Try eating:

  • Swap olive oil, avocados, and nut butters for butter, shortening, and lard.
  • Take fruit instead of baked goods or ice cream for a sweet treat.
  • Look for whole grain versions instead of opting for refined cereal and white bread, pasta, and rice.

It is higher than the average diet in vegetables, fruit, and dairy products. It is lower than the average diet in added sugars, refined starches, and red meat.

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How To Read Blood Pressure Numbers

Now lets explore the measurement. Blood pressure is always shown as two numbers. Use 120 over 80, which is written as 120/80 mm Hg , as an example. The 120 is the top number and is known as systolic blood pressure. It represents the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats. The 80 is the bottom number and is known as diastolic blood pressure. This is the pressure measured between your heartbeats when your heart is relaxing.

While both numbers are important, the American Heart Association notes the top number usually gets more attention. Thats because it helps show your risk of having a stroke or heart attack, along with kidney disease, congestive heart failure, vision loss and memory loss.

A high systolic reading is considered a major heart disease risk factor for people older than 50. As we age, arteries can become stiff and develop plaque buildup. In other words, if your blood is essentially punching the walls inside your heart, over and over again, damage will eventually occur.

Heres how the American Heart Association categorizes blood pressure levels.

  • Normal: systolic less than 120 and diastolic less than 80
  • Prehypertension: systolic 120-139 or diastolic 80-89
  • Stage 1 high blood pressure: systolic 140-159 or diastolic 90-99
  • Stage 2 high blood pressure: systolic 160 or higher or diastolic 100 or higher
  • Hypertensive crisis : systolic higher than 180 or diastolic higher than 110

Low blood pressure is typically not a problem unless you notice symptoms like:

Checking Blood Pressure At Home

Keeping track of blood pressure at home is important for many people, especially if you have high blood pressure. This helps you and your doctor find out if your treatment is working.

Your doctor may also suggest that you check your pressure at home if they think you may have “white coat hypertension.” It’s a real condition. The stress of being in a doctor’s office raises your blood pressure, but when you’re home, it’s normal.

Ask your doctor to recommend an easy-to-use home blood pressure monitor. Make sure the cuff fits properly. If your arm is too big for the cuff, the reading may be higher than your blood pressure really is. Ask your doctor for a larger cuff or make sure you buy a home monitor with a cuff that fits you.

You also can use a wrist blood pressure monitor, but they often aren’t as accurate. Follow the directions that come with the device to make sure you are using it correctly.

No matter which type of blood pressure monitor you have, it’s a good idea to take it to your doctor’s office. You can compare its reading to the numbers your doctor gets. Avoid caffeine, cigarettes, and exercise for at least 30 minutes before the test.

When you take your blood pressure at home, sit up straight in a chair and put both feet on the floor. Ask your doctor or nurse to show you the right way to position your arm so you get accurate readings.

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Whats A Normal Reading

For a normal reading, your blood pressure needs to show a top number thats between 90 and less than 120 and a bottom number thats between 60 and less than 80. The American Heart Association considers blood pressure to be within the normal range when both your systolic and diastolic numbers are in these ranges.

Blood pressure readings are expressed in millimeters of mercury. This unit is abbreviated as mm Hg. A normal reading would be any blood pressure below 120/80 mm Hg and above 90/60 mm Hg in an adult.

If youre in the normal range, no medical intervention is needed. However, you should maintain a healthy lifestyle and healthy weight to help prevent hypertension from developing. Regular exercise and healthy eating can also help. You may need to be even more mindful of your lifestyle if hypertension runs in your family.

Habits For Promoting Healthy Blood Pressure

Do you know your blood pressure numbers?

Blood pressure is greatly influenced by lifestyle, so most healthy people can properly manage blood pressure without medical intervention.

Keeping body weight within a normal range, eating a heart-healthy diet, decreasing mental stress and having a regular aerobic exercise routine can have a profound effect on blood pressure, Kazemi said.

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What Can I Do To Prevent Or Manage High Blood Pressure

Many people with high blood pressure can lower their blood pressure into a healthy range or keep their numbers in a healthy range by making lifestyle changes. Talk with your health care team about

  • Getting at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week
  • Not smoking
  • Managing stress

Learn more about ways to manage and prevent high blood pressure.

In addition to making positive lifestyle changes, some people with high blood pressure need to take medicine to manage their blood pressure. Learn more about medicines for high blood pressure.

Talk with your health care team right away if you think you have high blood pressure or if youve been told you have high blood pressure but do not have it under control.

What Does A Blood Pressure Reading Look Like

When you have your blood pressure measured, you will be given two numbers, a top number and a bottom number.

  • Systolic blood pressure. This is the first, or top, number. This is the highest level your blood pressure reaches when your heart beats, forcing blood around your body.
  • Diastolic blood pressure. The second number, or bottom number, is the lowest level your blood pressure reaches as your heart relaxes between beats.

Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury . If the first number is 120 and the second number is 80, this would be written as 120/80mmHg, and youd call it 120 over 80.

This video explains more about systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

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Your Blood Pressure Numbers And What They Mean

Your blood pressure is recorded as two numbers:

  • Systolic blood pressure indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls when the heart beats.
  • Diastolic blood pressure indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls while the heart is resting between beats.

Heart Attack And Heart Disease

Study says keeping blood pressure numbers in normal ranges helps the brain

High blood pressure can damage your arteries by making them less elastic, which decreases the flow of blood and oxygen to your heart and leads to heart disease. In addition, decreased blood flow to the heart can cause:

  • Chest pain, also called angina.
  • Heart attack, which happens when the blood supply to your heart is blocked and heart muscle begins to die without enough oxygen. The longer the blood flow is blocked, the greater the damage to the heart.
  • Heart failure, a condition that means your heart cant pump enough blood and oxygen to your other organs.

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High Blood Pressure Clinical Guidelines

Hypertension clinical guidelines from the American Heart Association are comprehensive guidelines for healthcare professionals for the detection and treatment of high blood pressure in a wide range of patients. Included in the 2021 hypertension clinical guidelines are proper methods for measuring blood pressure, risks for hypertension, and hypertension treatment for different populations.

These guidelines help guide healthcare practices, and can be related to patient reimbursement and healthcare coverage. The tenth revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, or ICD-10, is the set of codes used to designate specific health conditions and allow for reimbursement through health insurance programs.

What Is Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is the force applied by the blood over the inner walls of the arteries. Although the average blood pressure for a person remains constant, it shows minor fluctuations throughout the daydeclining while relaxing and momentarily increasing while being excited or under stress. An increase in the resting blood pressure can scar, stiffen, or harden the arteries.

Blood pressure is written as systolic and diastolic values. Hence, BP 120/80 mm Hg means 120 is the systolic number, and 80 is the diastolic number.

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What’s The Difference Between Blood Pressure And Pulse

While your blood pressure is the force of your blood moving through your blood vessels, your heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute.

  • They are two separate measurements and indicators of health.
  • For people with high blood pressure , theres no substitute for measuring blood pressure.

Taking Your Pulse Versus Checking Your Blood Pressure

Learning to Take an Accurate Blood Pressure Reading

While both are indications of health, blood pressure and heart rate are two separate measurements. Learn more about the difference between blood pressure and heart rate.

Systolic is less than 120 and my diastolic is less than 80

Great job! Your blood pressure is normal. To keep your readings in this range, stick with heart-healthy habits like following a balanced diet and getting regular exercise.

Systolic is 120 129 and my diastolic is less than 80

The good news is that you dont have high blood pressure. However, your numbers fall within the Elevated category, making you more likely to develop high blood pressure unless you take action to control it. Ready to make some small changes that have big impacts? Healthy lifestyle choices are a great place to start.

Systolic is 130 139 or my diastolic is 80 89

You are in the first stage of hypertension, but there are actions you can take to get your blood pressure under control. Your doctor will speak to you about small changes that can make a big difference and other BP Raisers. In addition, monitoring blood pressure outside of the doctors office is important for BP control.

Systolic is 140 or higher or my diastolic is 90 or higher

Systolic is higher than 180 and/or my diastolic is higher than 120

Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.

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