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What Does It Mean To Have High Blood Pressure

What Is Considered High Blood Pressure For Older Adults

What does it mean to have high blood pressure and a low pulse?

Recent updates to guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology changed the definition of high blood pressure or hypertension for most people. High blood pressure is now generally defined as 130 or higher for the first number, or 80 or higher for the second number . However, there are important considerations for older adults in deciding whether to start treatment for high blood pressure, including other health conditions and overall fitness. If your blood pressure is above 130/80, your doctor will evaluate your health to determine what treatment is needed to balance risks and benefits in your particular situation.

High Blood Pressure Facts

What every adult should know about high blood pressure, or hypertension

There’s a good reason why every doctor’s appointment starts with a blood pressure check. While one in three American adults has high blood pressure, about 20% of people are unaware that they have it because it is largely symptomless.

In fact, most people find out they have high blood pressure during a routine office visit.;

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of arteries as the heart pumps blood. High blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension, is when that force is too high and begins harming the body.;If left untreated, it willl eventually cause damage to the heart and blood vessels.

Your blood pressure is measured in two numbers: The top systolic blood pressure measures the force pushing against artery walls when the heart is contracting. The bottom diastolic blood pressure measures pressure in the arteries when the heart is resting between beats.

Normal blood pressure levels are 120 mmHg/80 mmHg or lower. At risk levels are 120-139 mmHg/80-89 mmHg. Readings of 140 mmHg/90 mmHg or higher are defined as high blood pressure.

Here are six other things you should know about high blood pressure.

Common Causes Of High Blood Pressure Spikes

Some people with high blood pressure will experience sharp rises in their blood pressure. These spikes, which typically last only a short period of time, are also known as sudden high blood pressure. These are some possible causes:

  • Caffeine;
  • Certain medications or combinations of medications
  • Chronic kidney disease

Also Check: What Is Hypertensive Blood Pressure

Drink Alcohol In Moderation

Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol will increase your blood pressure and raise the cholesterol levels in your blood.

Sticking to the recommended amounts of alcohol consumption is the best way to reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure.

The recommended daily limits of alcohol consumption are:

  • 3 to 4 units of alcohol for men
  • 2 to 3 units of alcohol for women.

A unit of alcohol is equal to about half a pint of normal-strength lager, a small glass of wine or a pub measure or spirits.

More about drinking alcohol reponsibly

What Does It Mean If You Fall Into The New Guidelines

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With these new guidelines, it is estimated that about 14 percent of people will now be classified as having hypertension; many of those individuals may be younger. However, only a small percentage will require intervention by medication. Individuals who now fall into a hypertensive category will receive more aggressive prevention interventions, like lifestyle changes.

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What Should You Do

If you think your pulse is low or your blood pressure is high, see your doctor to find out for sure and to determine the cause and appropriate treatment. Seek immediate medical care if your pulse is less than about 50 beats per minute, your systolic blood pressure is above 180 mm Hg or your diastolic blood pressure is higher than 120 mm Hg.

Also obtain immediate medical attention if you have any of these symptoms, no matter what your pulse or blood pressure values are:

  • Chest or back pain
  • Numbness or other changes in sensation
  • Difficulty speaking or swallowing

How Is High Blood Pressure Treated

If high blood pressure is due to a condition like kidney disease or lung disease, treating it might be enough to get the blood pressure back to normal.

Doctors also might recommend lifestyle changes. If you have hypertension, your doctor might want you to:

Eat a healthy diet:

  • Eat more fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy.
  • Limit salt.
  • Avoid alcohol.

Get regular exercise:

  • Try to exercise for 3060 minutes at least 3 times a week. But teens with severe hypertension should not do any weightlifting or power-lifting, bodybuilding, or strength training until their blood pressure is under control and a doctor says it’s OK.

Not smoke. Or if you do smoke, quit:

  • People with high blood pressure should not smoke, and their home and car should be smoke-free.

If diet and exercise changes do not improve the blood pressure, doctors may prescribe medicine.

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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.

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

What Does It Mean To 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.

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Can Someone Have Both Low Bp And High Bp Know All About Fluctuating Blood Pressure

Can someone experience low BP and high BP together? It is unusual but possible. Cardiologist Dr. Gunjan Kapoor explains all about fluctuating BP.

Other Diseases

We have heard about high blood pressure and low blood pressure issues separately. Have you ever heard someone complaining that they have both low BP and high BP? Very rarely. But this doesnt mean that it cannot happen. Dr. Gunjan Kapoor, MBBS, MD, DM , Director of Cardiac Sciences Deptt. at Yatharth Super Speciality Hospitalexplains that fluctuating blood pressure isnt common but it can be caused due to common factors such as stress, alcoholism, medication, etc. Your blood pressure reading can say a lot about your health including any underlying problem. It is always suggested to consult a doctor whenever you see a sudden spike or dip in your blood pressure.

When To See A Doctor

If a person who monitors their blood pressure at home does not see lower readings despite implementing lifestyle changes, they should get in touch with a doctor to determine the underlying cause of their high blood pressure.

A person should seek immediate medical attention if they get two readings of 180/120 mm Hg or higher within a 5-minute period, especially if they are experiencing a headache or nosebleed.

Read Also: What Do You Do When You Have Low Blood Pressure

Causes And Risk Factors Of High Diastolic Blood Pressure

1. Age and Gender

The top risk factor is aging for both men and women, covering 90% of all the population with hypertension. Men above the age of 45 and women above 55 have a higher risk of getting the problem. However, hypertension is becoming more common in teenagers. Boys usually are at a higher risk than girls.

2. Race and Ethnicity

African-Americans are at a higher risk of getting hypertension compared to Caucasians and other ethnicities. Around 40% of African-American men and women have high blood pressure. African-Americans get hypertension at a younger age and it increases the risk of premature deaths from kidney failure, heart failure, heart attack and stroke.

3. Family History

If you have parents with hypertension, you are likely to get it too.

4. Obesity

One third of hypertension patients are overweight. Adults who are overweight have a double risk of getting high diastolic blood pressure compared with people with normal weight. Children and adolescents who are obese are a high risk of getting hypertension when they are adults.

5. Obstructive Sleep Apnea

This is a condition whereby breathing repeatedly stops during sleep. Most patients with hypertension have sleep apnea. The relation between the two conditions has been thought to be a result of obesity. But some studies are showing that people with sleep apnea also have hypertension regardless of their weight.

6. Lifestyle Factors

7. Medical Conditions

8. Medication

What Are The Effects Of High Blood Pressure

New guidelines mean you might have high blood pressure ...

It all starts in the arteries and the heart. Having high blood pressure increases the workload of your entire cardiovascular system. The heart and arteries are not as efficient at circulating blood, meaning they constantly have to work harder to fulfill;the same function.

Plus, as blood flows through your arteries with a higher than normal amount of force, this causes damage overtime. This damage can lead to;tiny tears in your arteries, as well as;plaque build up, both of which can make your blood pressure even higher.

In addition to the serious toll it takes on your heart and arteries, high blood pressure can also contribute to vision loss, kidney disease or failure and stroke.

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Adopting A Cleaner Lifestyle

If youre a smoker, try to quit. The chemicals in tobacco smoke damage the bodys tissues and harden blood vessel walls.

If you regularly consume too much alcohol or have an alcohol dependency, seek help to reduce the amount you drink or stop altogether. Alcohol can raise blood pressure.

One of the easiest ways you can treat hypertension and prevent possible complications is through your diet. What you eat can go a long way toward easing or eliminating hypertension.

Here are some of the most common dietary recommendations for people with hypertension.

How To Use A Home Blood Pressure Monitor

  • Be still. Don’t smoke, drink caffeinated beverages or exercise within 30 minutes before measuring your blood pressure. Empty your bladder and ensure at least 5 minutes of quiet rest before measurements.
  • Sit correctly.Sit with your back straight and supported . Your feet should be flat on the floor and your legs should not be crossed. Your arm should be supported on a flat surface with the upper arm at heart level. Make sure the bottom of the cuff is placed directly above the bend of the elbow. Check your monitor’s instructions for an illustration or have your healthcare provider show you how.
  • Measure at the same time every day. Its important to take the readings at the same time each day, such as morning and evening. It is best to take the readings daily however ideally beginning 2 weeks after a change in treatment and during the week before your next appointment.
  • Take multiple readings and record the results. Each time you measure, take two or three readings one minute apart and record the results using a tracker. If your monitor has built-in memory to store your readings, take it with you to your appointments. Some monitors may also allow you to upload your readings to a secure website after you register your profile.
  • Don’t take the measurement over clothes.
and/or HIGHER THAN 120

Note: A diagnosis of high blood pressure must be confirmed with a medical professional. A doctor should also evaluate any unusually low blood pressure readings.

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Should I Be Concerned About Having High Blood Pressure And A Low Pulse

If youre taking blood pressure medication and have slightly high blood pressure and a low pulse, this generally isnt anything to be concerned about.

But if youre not taking any medication, its best to work with a doctor to figure out whats going on. This is especially true if you have symptoms of a low pulse, such as dizziness or shortness of breath.

The typical range of 60 to 100 beats per minute is both the average pulse measurement as well as the rate at which most peoples heart needs to beat to pump enough blood through their body.

Some people may simply have a lower pulse. Examples include athletes or those in very good shape. Theyve conditioned their heart muscle to be stronger. As a result, their heart pumps more effectively, meaning it doesnt need to beat as often. Learn more about why athletes have lower pulses.

Exercising can also temporarily raise your blood pressure. So, if you exercise regularly, you may have a naturally low pulse and higher blood pressure right after you work out.

The Faster The Heart Rate The Shorter The Lifespan

Blood pressure: what causes high blood pressure?

True: In a large study of people going for a health checkup in China, those who had a high-normal resting heart rate of 80 bpm to 90 BPM had a 40 percent shorter lifespan than those with a desirable heart rate of 60 BPM to 69 BPM.

However, the good news is that 15 minutes to 30 minutes of daily moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, could eliminate the increased mortality and reverse the life-span loss, the researchers say.

The study underlines;the important role that;physical activity can play in keeping your heart healthy and giving you a longer life, Dr. Laffin says.

Even moderate activity has benefits, he says. So there is no longer any reason to stay on the couch.

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Possible Causes And Risks

The biggest risk for having secondary hypertension is having a medical condition that causes the high blood pressure.

;There are several things that can cause secondary hypertension, these can include:

There are many things that may cause your secondary hypertension, it is always best to consult with your doctor in order to treat any symptoms you may be experiencing. Medications and supplements such as painkillers, birth control pills as well as antidepressants may also cause secondary hypertension.

The most common cause of secondary hypertension is kidney disease, have a look at our article on this as well as the relevant articles to the above-mentioned diseases.

What’s The Impact Of Having High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for developing cardiovascular diseases such as:

  • coronary heart disease;- where the main arteries that supply your heart become clogged up with plaques
  • strokes;- a serious condition where the blood supply to your brain is interrupted
  • heart attacks;- a serious condition where the blood supply to part of your heart is blocked

Diabetes and kidney disease are also linked to high blood pressure complications.

Read Also: When To Treat High Blood Pressure

When Is A Pulse Rate Considered Low

Your pulse rate is the number of pulsations in a minute that you can feel over one of your arteries. The pulsations are usually felt over the radial artery at your wrist or over the carotid artery in your neck. They are caused by your heartbeats and the pulse rate is usually the same as the heart rate. Sometimes not all of the heartbeats can be felt over the artery, causing the pulse rate to be lower than the heart rate.

A normal pulse rate is a range of values, which depends to a large extent on age. Children have higher pulse rates than adults. The normal pulse rate in adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute. A pulse below 60 is considered low.

When Is Bloodpressure Considered High

Systolic Vs Diastolic Blood Pressure: What The Numbers ...

Your blood pressure is the force of blood as it pushes against the walls of your arteries. Blood pressure is usually measured in the upper arm or wrist with a blood pressure machine. It consists of two numbers: a higher number called the systolic pressure and a lower number called the diastolic pressure.

Like the pulse, normal blood pressure is a range that depends on age. Children have lower blood pressures than adults. Guidelines published jointly by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology in 2017 define high blood pressure in adults as a pressure of 130/80 or above.

Read Also: How Do I Get My Blood Pressure Down

Blood Pressure And Ageing

With advancing years, the arteries tend to become more rigid . This may change a persons blood pressure pattern, with a higher systolic pressure and a lower diastolic pressure. The higher systolic pressure is important because it can further accelerate the rigidity of the arteries. This state is referred to as isolated systolic hypertension. Although these changes are due to ageing, this is not a normal state and may need medication to control the systolic pressures.

Heart Rate And Exercise

In discussions about high blood pressure, you will often see heart rate mentioned in relation to exercise. Your target heart rate;is based on age and can help you monitor the intensity of your exercise.

  • If you measure your heart rate before, during and after physical activity, youll notice it will increase over the course of the exercise.
  • The greater the intensity of the exercise, the more your heart rate will increase.
  • When you stop exercising, your heart rate does not immediately return to your normal heart rate.
  • The more fit you are, the sooner your heart rate will return to normal.

Learn more:

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