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What Does Good Blood Pressure Mean

How Can I Be More Active

Good Question: What Do Your Blood Pressure Numbers Mean?
  • 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 five times a week for 30 to 45 minutes each session.

Tips For Taking Blood Pressure Medication

Untreated high blood pressure can increase your risk of serious health problems. If your doctor prescribes medication to lower your blood pressure, remember:

  • If you take blood pressure medication and your blood pressure goes down, it means medication and lifestyle changes are working. If another doctor asks if you have high blood pressure, the answer is, “Yes, but it is being treated.”
  • Healthy lifestyle changes may help lower the dosage you need.
  • Get up slowly from a seated or lying position and stand for a bit before walking. This lets your blood pressure adjust before walking to prevent lightheadedness and falls.
  • Tell your doctor about all the drugs you take. Don’t forget to mention over-the-counter drugs, including vitamins and supplements. They may affect your blood pressure. They also can change how well your blood pressure medication works.
  • Blood pressure medication should be taken at the same time each day as part of your daily routine. For example, take it in the morning with breakfast or in the evening before brushing your teeth. If you miss a dose, do not double the dose the next day.
  • Remember to refill your medication before you run out and bring it with you when traveling. Its important to keep taking your medication unless your doctor tells you to stop.
  • Before having surgery, ask your doctor if you should take your blood pressure medication on the day of your operation.

Understanding The Acc/aha Definition

It’s important to mention that the definition of high blood pressure according to the ACC/AHA defers slightly from other professional societies, such as the European Society of Cardiology and the European Society of Hypertension .

The ESC/ESH defines high blood pressure as a systolic blood pressure that is 140 mmHg or higher or a diastolic blood pressure that is greater than 90 mmHg.

The differences in definition are based on results from large studies that examined the link between blood pressure and the occurrence of heart attacks and strokes.

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What Can I Do To Lower My Blood Pressure

There are things we can all do to help control blood pressure. These lifestyle modifications are changes you can make in your daily life.

  • Follow the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH diet. This includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products with reduced saturated and total fat.
  • Increase your physical activity. Add 90 to 150 minutes each week of aerobic exercise. Also, include three days of strength training each week. Not only can this help reduce or control your blood pressure, but it can also help with weight management. In overweight individuals, a weight loss of even five to 10 percent has been shown to reduce blood pressure.
  • Limit your alcohol. It is recommended that men have no more than two drinks per day and women have no more than one to help control blood pressure.
  • Manage your stress. Because stress can have a major impact on our bodies, it is important to have an effective coping technique. There are many techniques for relaxation.
  • If you smoke, quit. Quitting smoking can have a huge impact on your health.

These are some of the most proactive ways one can support a normal blood pressure and an overall healthy life. But sometimes, even a healthy lifestyle is not enough to maintain a safe blood pressure. When lifestyle modifications do not lower blood pressure to better levels, medication can be prescribed.

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More Than Blood Pressure

Blood Pressure Chart &  Numbers (Normal Range, Systolic, Diastolic)

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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Whats Considered Elevated Blood Pressure

Blood pressure numbers that are higher than 120/80 mm Hg are a warning sign. It means you need to pay attention to your blood pressure and focus on heart-healthy habits.

Although these numbers arent technically considered high blood pressure, youve moved out of the normal range. Elevated blood pressure may turn into high blood pressure, which puts you at an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

Elevated blood pressure

When your systolic pressure is between 120 and 129mm Hgand your diastolic pressure is less than 80mm Hg, it means you have elevated blood pressure.

No medications are necessary for elevated blood pressure. But your doctor may talk with you about the importance of a healthy lifestyle, such as getting regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, and managing your weight.

You may receive a diagnosis of stage 1 hypertension if:

  • your systolic blood pressure is between 130 and 139 mm Hg, or
  • your diastolic blood pressure is between 80 and 89 mm Hg

However, the AHA notes that if you get only one reading this high, you may not truly have stage 1 hypertension. What determines the diagnosis of hypertension at any stage is the average of your blood pressure numbers over a period of time.

Your doctor can help you measure and track your blood pressure to confirm whether its too high.

Stage 1 hypertension

If your systolic blood pressure is 130 to 139 mm Hgor your diastolic blood pressure is 80 to 89 mm Hg, its considered stage 1 hypertension.

What Causes High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure usually develops over time. It can happen because of unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as not getting enough regular physical activity. Certain health conditions, such as diabetes and having obesity, can also increase the risk for developing high blood pressure. High blood pressure can also happen during pregnancy.

You can manage your blood pressure to lower your risk for serious health problems that may affect your heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes.

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Why Is It Important To Know If You Have High Blood Pressure

Early detection of high blood pressure is very important. Often referred to as the silent killer because it may show no symptoms, high blood pressure puts you at an increased risk for heart disease, heart failure, and stroke, among other things. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2013, more than 360,000 deaths in the United States included high blood pressure as a primary or contributing cause.

What Is Normal Blood Pressure

What is blood pressure?

For years we have been told that a normal blood pressure reading is 120/80 however, more and more doctors have now lowered these numbers to 115/75. Blood pressure is different for everyone as many factors can have an effect on the numbers.

Our blood pressure refers to the amount of force behind the blood as it hits the arterial walls. As the heart pumps the blood, an ideal pressure sees the blood push against the walls that are flexible enough to expand and retract easily. Over time, our age, diet, and physical activity play a role on the elasticity of our blood vessels. With a loss of flexibility due to hardening of the walls, the heart needs to work harder to push the blood.

These factors determine the blood pressure numbers. The systolic number is the top number, and it indicates the pressure as the heart beats or pushes the blood throughout the body. The diastolic number is the bottom number, and refers to the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats. During this time, the heart receives oxygen as it fills with blood.

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The Definition For What Is Considered High Blood Pressure Has Been Tightened Here’s What You Need To Know

If you didn’t have high blood pressure before, there’s a good chance you do now.

In 2017, new guidelines from the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and nine other health organizations lowered the numbers for the diagnosis of hypertension to 130/80 millimeters of mercury and higher for all adults. The previous guidelines set the threshold at 140/90 mm Hg for people younger than age 65 and 150/80 mm Hg for those ages 65 and older.

This means 70% to 79% of men ages 55 and older are now classified as having hypertension. That includes many men whose blood pressure had previously been considered healthy. Why the change?

How Can You Reduce Your Risk Of High Blood Pressure

Fortunately, there are certain things you can do to help reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure. These include the following:

  • Eat right: A healthy diet is an important step in keeping your blood pressure normal. The DASH diet emphasizes adding fruits, vegetables and whole grains to your diet while reducing the amount of sodium. Since its rich in fruits and vegetables, which are naturally lower in sodium than many other foods, the DASH diet makes it easier to eat less salt and sodium.
  • Keep a healthy weight: Going hand-in-hand with a proper diet is keeping a healthy weight. Since being overweight increases your blood pressure, losing excess weight with diet and exercise will help lower your blood pressure to healthier levels.
  • Cut down on salt: The recommendation for salt in your diet is to have less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium a day . To prevent hypertension, you should keep your salt intake below this level. Don’t forget that most restaurant foods and many processed and frozen foods contain high levels of salt. Use herbs and spices that do not contain salt in recipes to flavor your food do not add salt at the table.
  • Keep active: Even simple physical activities, such as walking, can lower your blood pressure .
  • Drinkalcoholin moderation: Having more than one drink a day and two drinks a day can raise blood pressure.

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Who Is Affected By High Blood Pressure

Approximately 1 in 3, more than 100 million, American adults have high blood pressure. But only half of those people have their condition under control. Many people develop high blood pressure when they are in their late 30s or early 40s, and it occurs more frequently as people age. However, because of the obesity epidemic, more and more children are also developing high blood pressure.

How Do I Know If I Have High Blood Pressure

Do You Have High Blood Pressure?

Theres only one way to know if you have high blood pressure: Have a doctor or other health professional measure it. Measuring your blood pressure is quick and painless.

Talk with your health care team about regularly measuring your blood pressure at home, also called self-measured blood pressure monitoring.

High blood pressure is called the silent killer because it usually has no warning signs or symptoms, and many people do not know they have it.

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How Is An Unusual Map Treated

An unusual MAP is usually a sign of an underlying condition or problem in the body, so the treatment depends on the cause. causes may include heart conditions, Sepsis, stroke, internal bleeding, and more.

For a low MAP, treatment may focus on safely raising blood pressure quickly to avoid organ damage. This is usually done with:

  • intravenous fluids or blood transfusions to increase blood flow
  • medications called vasopressors that tighten blood vessels, which can increase blood pressure and make the heart beat faster or pump harder

Depending on the cause, treating a high MAP may also require quick action, in this case, to reduce overall blood pressure. This can be done with oral or intravenous nitroglycerin . This medication helps to relax and widen blood vessels, making it easier for blood to reach the heart.

Once the blood pressure is under control, the doctor can continue treating the underlying cause. This may involve:

  • breaking up a stroke-causing blood clot
  • inserting a stent into a coronary artery to keep it open

Will Taking Birth Control Pills Increase My Chances Of Getting High Blood Pressure

Doctors and researchers have found a link between birth control pills and an increase in blood pressure among some women. They say that it is more likely to occur in women who are overweight, have kidney disease or have a family history of high blood pressure.

Talk to your health care team to determine what forms of birth control may be best for you. Women with known medical problems or other special conditions might need additional examinations or tests to determine the appropriate method of contraception.

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What Is Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring

If a doctor recommends ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, you will need to wear a blood pressure cuff for 24 hours. It’s connected to a small, portable measuring device that automatically measures your blood pressure at set times and records the readings.

Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is used, for example, to see whether blood pressure levels vary greatly over the course of the day and night or whether they are constantly elevated. During those 24 hours, you can do all of the usual things you would otherwise do over the course of the day. If you are especially active at certain times, you can make a note in a diary. Then the doctor has a better idea of how to interpret the recorded values when evaluating them.

What Are The Types Of Abnormal Heart Rate

Understanding blood pressure..What does it really mean?

A condition in which the heart beats with an irregular or abnormal rhythm is called arrhythmia.

Types of arrhythmias include:

  • Bradycardia: A heart rate below 60 beats per minute
  • Tachycardia: A heart rate above 100 BPM
  • Atrial or supraventricular tachycardia: Occurs in the atria of the heart
  • Sinus tachycardia: A faster heart rate in a normal-functioning heart
  • Ventricular tachycardia: Occurs in the ventricles of the heart

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Will High Blood Pressure Effect My Chances Of Getting Pregnant

Women who improve their heart health before pregnancy can reduce their medical risks later. This proactive approach can lower the likelihood of pregnancy complications. If youre considering becoming pregnant, talk to your health care team about healthy changes you can make to help both you and your baby be healthier.

Doctors and researchers have found a link between birth control pills and an increase in blood pressure among some women. They say that it is more likely to occur in women who are overweight, have kidney disease or have a family history of high blood pressure.

Learn more about pregnancy and maternal health, including information on being healthy before, during and after a pregnancy.

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

Monitoring Your Blood Pressure

In order to know your resting blood pressure, you need to learn how to check and monitor it regularly. You can use an electronic blood pressure monitor that consists of an inflatable cuff. You have to wrap this to your upper arm while an electronic monitor attached to the cuff will give a digital readout of the pulse and blood pressure.

Your systolic blood pressure number is the upper reading and is always said first. If you have 120/80, it will be said that your systolic blood pressure is 120 and diastolic blood pressure is 80. Together, it reads as “120 over 80”. Your blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury .

How Often Should Blood Pressure Be Checked?

If your blood pressure is normal, you should go for a check-up at least once every five years. Your blood pressure is likely to increase if you are in your old age. For blood pressure that is borderline high, systolic blood pressure between 120 and 139 or diastolic blood pressure between 80 and 89, you should check your blood pressure once every year, or as per your doctor’s advice. If your blood pressure is 140/90, you need to talk to your doctor and work as per their instructions.

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What Can Support Healthy Blood Pressure

Before getting to what someone can do to support their blood pressure, its important to know that factors which impact blood pressure arent known for certain. But there are factors that seem to contribute to it, such as being overweight, smoking, using certain prescriptions and some medical conditions that impact circulation.

Behavioral or lifestyle changes are one of the best ways to address blood pressure, especially if theyre done as soon as the numbers start to climb. Losing weight, adding an exercise routine and eating a healthier diet, including foods rich in dietary nitrates, are all good ways to help support your blood pressure numbers.

Studies are also finding that boosting your nitric oxide levels can help support healthy blood pressure.

Taking Your Pulse Versus Checking Your Blood Pressure

Understanding Blood Pressure Readings

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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