How To Properly Interpret Blood Pressure Levels
Because blood pressure is different for every person, there are no specific limits except for excessively high blood pressure values for when it is advisable to see a doctor. However, if the levels rise excessively or the person has symptoms such as shortness of breath, sensations of pressure in the chest, dizziness, or nausea, they should seek medical attention immediately.
Salt Intake And High Blood Pressure
Reducing the amount of salt you eat can also help to manage or even avoid high blood pressure. To help reduce your salt intake:
- Ensure your diet consists of wholefoods including vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, lean meat and poultry, fish and seafood, legumes, unsalted nuts and seeds.
- Avoid packaged and processed foods that are high in salt. You cant see the salt in these foods, so you dont know how much salt you are having. Get into the habit of checking food labels.
- Choose low-salt food where possible. If you cant find low-salt products, those with moderate amounts of salt are ok too. Another simple alternative is to look for labels with low salt, salt reduced or no added salt.
- Avoid adding salt to cooking or at the table flavour meals with herbs and spices instead.
Which Number Is Most Important
Both. Having a high number in either systolic or diastolic pressure can lead to a diagnosis of hypertension . However, systolic pressure tends to get more attention because high systolic blood pressure is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease for people over 50, and it can indicate major cardiac events.
Also note: Heart rate and blood pressure are not the same, and they can indicate different issues. The American Heart Association reports that blood pressure measures the force that blood moves through blood vessels, and heart rate measures the amount of times your heart beats per minute. Having a healthy heart rate does not necessarily mean your blood pressure is in a healthy range. Both measurements are important, but one does not replace the other.
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What Is A Healthy Pressure Range
Blood pressure measures the force your heart uses to pump blood around the body.
Blood pressure is recorded in millimetres of mercury its measured using two recorded numbers, the systolic and diastolic pressure.
The first number is the systolic pressure is the force that your heart pumps blood around the body.
The second number in your reading is the diastolic pressure.
This number shows the resistance to blood flow in the blood vessels.
Healthy blood pressure should sit between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg.
If your readings sit above 120/80mmHg you could be at risk of high blood pressure.
Elevated blood pressure readings range from 120 to 129 systolic and less than 80 mm Hg diastolic.
Brits with elevated blood pressure are at risk of developing high blood pressure without preventative steps, such as changing unhealthy lifestyle habits.
But blood pressure increases as you get older according to the medical website Thrombocyte so what is a healthy level for your age?
What Are The Types Of Abnormal Heart Rate
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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Complications Of High Blood Pressure
Untreated or poorly managed high blood pressure can cause serious and even life threatening issues. It can damage your blood vessels as well as your organs. The longer your hypertension goes untreated, the more it can damage your body and affect your health.
Potential complications of high blood pressure include:
What Causes Low Blood Pressure
There are many possible reasons for low blood pressure, according to both Dr. Wong and Dr. Desai, including:
- Heart problems like heart failure or low heart rates
- Endocrine problems, such as parathyroid disease, adrenal insufficiency or hypoglycemia
- Side effects of medications for high blood pressure, prostatic hypertrophy, Parkinsons disease, depression and erectile dysfunction
- Massive weight loss
- Rapid heart rate
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How Is It Treated
For most people, the goal is to reduce the blood pressure to less than 140/90. If you have diabetes or kidney disease, the goal is less than 130/80 mm Hg.
If your blood pressure is above normal , you may be able to bring it down to a normal level without medicine. Weight loss, changes in your diet, and exercise may be the only treatment you need. If you also have diabetes, you may need additional treatment.
If these lifestyle changes do not lower your blood pressure enough, your healthcare provider may prescribe medicine. Some of the types of medicines that can help are diuretics, beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, and vasodilators. These medicines work in different ways. Many people need to take 2 or more medicines to bring their blood pressure down to a healthy level.
When you start taking medicine, it is important to:
- Take the medicine regularly, exactly as prescribed.
- Tell your healthcare provider about any side effects right away.
- Have regular follow-up visits with your healthcare provider.
It may not be possible to know at first which drug or mix of drugs will work best for you. It may take several weeks or months to find the best treatment for you.
Know Your Numbers: Blood Pressure
Knowing and understanding key heart numbers blood pressure, cholesterol and heart rate, along with your family history allow you and your health care team to determine your risk for developing heart and cardiovascular disease. Knowing your risk is critical to preventing heart disease and for taking steps to improve your overall heart health.
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How To Properly Measure Blood Pressure
Blood pressure should be measured in a resting state, with the arm positioned roughly at the same height as the heart. To ensure reliable values, two measurements should be taken over a span of five minutes and then the average of the two readings calculated. Because blood pressure fluctuates over the course of the day, it should always be measured at the same time of day.
Why Diastolic Blood Pressure Is Important
Typically, for people over 50, more attention is directed to the higher number, systolic blood pressure, as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease 4. Therefore, why is diastolic pressure important?
Diastolic pressure is important because an elevated diastolic pressure may be used to make a diagnosis of high blood pressure. In addition, elevated diastolic pressure means there is an increased risk of developing elevated systolic blood pressure as a person ages.
Recent studies have researched people ranging from 40 to 89 years of age. They found for each 10 mmHg diastolic number increase in blood pressure, the risk of death from ischemic heart disease and stroke doubles.
Ischemic heart disease is a term given to heart problems that are caused by narrowed heart arteries.
On the other hand, if diastolic blood pressure is too low, meaning coronary arteries arent getting enough blood pressure, the heart is going to lack oxygen and blood. This is called ischemia and may weaken the heart over time which can lead to heart failure.
The coronary arteries which surround the aortic valve in the heart only get blood when the aortic valve closes, and this happens in diastole 5.
What is diastole? Diastole is the part of the cardiac cycle when the heart is relaxed between beats and refills with blood.
Diastolic blood pressure is measured at the moment diastole is occurring 6.
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What Questions Should I Ask My Provider
- Are there supplements or non-prescription medicines that I shouldnt take?
- Can I keep taking these medicines if I get pregnant?
- What kinds of exercise should I do?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
If you dont treat high blood pressure, it can put you at risk for developing serious illnesses later in life such as heart attack, kidney failure and stroke. But if you follow your providers instructions, you can control your blood pressure. Be sure to take any medicines your provider ordered as instructed. Keep taking them even if your blood pressure numbers begin to fall into the normal range. Living a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy foods, watching your weight and getting regular exercise is also a great way to help control your blood pressure.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/21/2021.
What Is Normal Blood Pressure By Age
Blood pressure ranges for adults are:
- High: Systolic of 130 or above and/or diastolic of 80 or above
- High Blood Pressure Stage 1: Systolic of 130-139 or diastolic of 80-89
- High Blood Pressure Stage 2: Systolic of 140 or higher or diastolic 90 or higher
The normal Blood Pressure Ranges for Adults Chart
|Blood Pressure Category|
|Higher than 120|
The normal blood pressure for adolescents 13 years or older is less than 120/80 mmHg.
In younger children, the normal range for blood pressure is determined by the child’s sex, age, and height. The normal range is expressed as a percentile, similar to charts used to track children’s growth.
Blood pressure is separated into three categories based upon the child’s blood pressure percentile:
The normal blood pressure range for Children Chart
|Blood Pressure Category|
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Blood Pressure By Age
1 to 5 years 95/65mmHg 6 to 13 years 105/70mmHg 14 to 19 years 117/77mmHg
20 to 24 years 120/79mmHg 25 to 29 years 121/80mmHg 30 to 34 years 122/81mmHg 35 to 39 years 123/82mmHg 40 to 44 years 125/83mmHg 45 to 49 years 127/84mmHg 50 to 54 years 129/85mmHg 55 to 59 years 131/86mmHg 60 to 64 years 134/87mmHg
You can only know for certain if your blood pressure is too high by getting it checked, the tests are quick and easy so if you think you could be at risk its worth booking a check-up with your GP.
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High blood pressure can drive up your risk of developing serious health conditions, such as coronary heart disease and kidney disease. Lifestyle factors can cause your blood pressure to rise to an unhealthy level. Low blood pressure is less common but it can be just as concerning. How can you tell if your blood pressure is dangerously high?
High blood pressure is often related to lifestyle facts such as excessive drinking smoking, eating fatty foods and being overweight.
Living a sedentary lifestyle and not exercising enough can cause your blood pressure to rise.
High blood pressure is a major issue in the UK it affects around 25percent of all UK adults according to the NHS.
High blood pressure is also known as hypertension.
It can be hard to tell if you have the condition as symptoms only appear if your blood pressure gets extremely high.
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How Older Adults Can Maintain A Healthy Blood Pressure
Maintaining a healthy blood pressure doesnt have to be complicated. Simple lifestyle changes can help:
- Exercise. National guidelines recommend adults of all ages engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week. If mobility or health conditions are a problem, older adults should try to be as physically active as possible.
- Lose weight. If your loved one is overweight, every 2 pounds lost can help reduce blood pressure by 1 mm Hg.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet low in salt. The DASH diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, poultry, fish and low-fat dairy foods. It was designed specifically to help lower blood pressure. Try to limit sodium to no more than 2,300 milligrams per day.
- Avoid drinking alcohol. Alcohol can raise your blood pressure. If your loved one chooses to drink alcoholic drinks, limit it to no more than one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men.
- Dont smoke. Tobacco damages your artery walls. If your loved one smokes, ask their doctor how to help them quit.
- Manage stress. Try simple relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises or meditation.
In some cases, diet and lifestyle changes are not enough to lower blood pressure. Your loved one may be having a difficult time achieving significant changes in their lifestyle, or their hypertension may be too severe to treat with diet and exercise alone.
Investing In A Clinically
As you shop for a BP monitor, look for a label that says “Recommended by Hypertension Canada.” Hypertension Canada is a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing and controlling hypertension. It helps in the clinical validation of the accuracy of BP devices for home monitoring.
You can ask your doctor to help you pick the best blood pressure monitor in Canada, too. Your healthcare provider will also help you measure your arm so you can select the right cuff size. Your physician can also check your BP monitor every year to ensure it remains accurate.
Lastly, check if your secondary health insurance covers medical devices. Your supplemental health plans may offer some form of coverage for BP monitors.
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What Are The New Blood Pressure Guidelines For Seniors
In 2017, new blood pressure guidelines were released by The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology. Previously, a blood pressure of 140 over 90 was considered normal. The new guidelines state that a normal range means your blood pressure must be under 120 over 80. There are now three categories of high blood pressure:
If you fall into the elevated blood pressure range, the recommendations do not include medications. Rather, you will be encouraged to make diet and lifestyle changes. If you fall into the Stage I or II hypertension, your doctor will prescribe medication along with the diet and lifestyle changes.
To be diagnosed with hypertension, you must have two careful readings taken on two different occasions. Careful readings means you did not just drink a caffeinated beverage, or smoke a cigarette, or exercise. You should be comfortably seated with your arm supported and muscles relaxed when your blood pressure is taken.
Healthy And Unhealthy Blood Pressure Ranges
Learn whats considered normal, as recommended by the American Heart Association.
|SYSTOLIC mm Hg||and/or||DIASTOLIC mm Hg|
|HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE STAGE 1||130 139|
|HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE STAGE 2||140 OR HIGHER|
|HYPERTENSIVE CRISIS||HIGHER THAN 180||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.
The five blood pressure ranges as recognized by the American Heart Association are:
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Why Do I Need A Blood Pressure Chart
Older persons, those with a hereditary predisposition, heart problems, or systemic diseases are all especially prone to high blood pressure. A blood pressure chart helps a person to monitor their individual values, to identify abnormalities early on, and to treat unhealthy blood pressure values at an early stage.
What Do Blood Pressure Numbers Mean
Blood pressure is measured using two numbers:
The first number, called systolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats.
The second number, called diastolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between beats.
If the measurement reads 120 systolic and 80 diastolic, you would say, 120 over 80, or write, 120/80 mmHg.
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More Than 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.