Blood Pressure In The Elderly: How Low Is Too Low
A recent publication in a fine peer-reviewed medical journal of the SPRINT study proved that lowering our blood pressure to the old target of 120/80 or less led to fewer heart attacks, strokes, and kidney failure. There was no question on what to do with younger people but to lower their blood pressure more aggressively to these levels. Debates arose in the medical community about the ability to lower it that much and would we be able to add enough medication and convince the patients to take it religiously or not to meet these stringent recommendations?
There was less clarity in the baby boomer elderly growing population of men and women who were healthy and over 75 years of age. The thought was that maybe we need to keep their blood pressure a bit higher because we need to continue to perfuse the brain cells of these aging patients.
A study performed in the west coast of the United States using actual brain autopsy material hinted that with aggressive lowering of the blood pressure, patients were exhibiting signs and symptoms of dementia but their ultimate brain biopsies did not support that clinical diagnosis. In fact, the brain autopsies suggested that we were not getting enough oxygen and nutrient rich blood to the brain because of aggressive lowering of blood pressure. Maintain blood pressure higher we were told using a systolic BP of 150 or lower as a target.
Steven Reznick is an internal medicine physician and can be reached at Boca Raton Concierge Doctor.
What Is The Normal Blood Pressure For A 90
Normal blood pressure for a healthy 90-year-old, assuming that there is no unknown illness or health complications, ranges around 120/80 mmHg, according to Blood Pressure UK. Blood pressure varies between individuals depending on level of fitness, diet, hydration and current medications.
The ideal blood pressure for any healthy adult is 120/80 or less, reports Mayo Clinic. This indicates good health of the cardiovascular system and low risk for conditions such as heart attack or stroke. Blood pressure ranging from 120 to 139 systolic over 80 to 89 diastolic signifies prehypertension, and lifestyle changes are beneficial to the patient in controlling these numbers.
Blood pressure between 140 to 159 over 90 to 99 is classified as hypertension stage one, explains Mayo Clinic, and it represents the need for medical consult and lifestyle changes in order to prevent poor medical outcomes. Finally, blood pressure of 160/100 or more is classified as hypertension stage two, and indicates a higher risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke, as well as the need for medical management of the condition.
What Is High Blood Pressure
Hypertension is higher-than-normal pressure in your blood vessels, as defined by the Mayo Clinic. The pressure is measured as the force of the blood against the wall of your blood vessels, usually your arteries, which carry oxygenated blood to your body organs and tissues.
Your blood pressure monitor will show your reading as two numbers. The top number is the systolic blood pressure . It reflects blood pressure when the heart is contracting, and is the higher of the two numbers. The bottom number is the diastolic blood pressure . It reflects blood pressure when the heart is relaxing, and is the lower of the two numbers.
These are the standard classifications for normal and high blood pressure.
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Blood Pressure Monitor Vs Blood Pressure Cuff
Blood pressure monitor and blood pressure cuff are two phrases often used to describe the same blood pressure measurement tool. The blood pressure cuff is the element that wraps around either the upper arm, wrist or finger to measure blood pressure. The blood pressure monitor is the element in charge of inflating and deflating the cuff, as well as providing your blood pressure reading on an easy-to-read display.
Most experts recommend using a blood pressure monitor with an upper arm blood pressure cuff for at-home readings because they tend to be more accurate than wrist cuffs and finger cuffs.
What Is A Normal Blood Pressure For A 72 Year Old Woman
what is a normal blood pressure for a 72 year old woman
Like everyone else, the normal BP is approximately 120-140 / 60-80 Either of those numbers outside that range and you should go see a doctor.
BOTH of the numbers should be in the ranges specified.
The first number called the systolic pressure should be between 120 and 140
The second number called the diastolic pressure should be between 60 and 80.
Either number outside should be looked at … It is quite normal for any of us to occasionally have blood pressure slightly outside the ranges. But if you take your bp several times over several days and it’s slightly over, then it’s time to see your doctor.
Your diastolic pressure is much too high. This typically means that your blood vessels are not relaxing between heart beats very well. This can be caused by many things and so you should see your doctor. It’s not normally an emergency level unless you are feeling other symptoms.
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High Blood Pressure Risk Factors For Women
Since you are unlikely to have symptoms of hypertension, it is good to learn the factors of risk so you have some idea for yourself You should contact your healthcare provider if you have prehypertension or high risk for hypertension. Even if your risk is low, you should find your blood pressure so you have a baseline to work from so you can stay healthy in the future.
What’s A Healthy Blood Pressure Range
A healthy blood pressure range is below 120/90 mm Hg and above 90/60 mm Hg, per the US National Library of Medicine . However, exactly what normal blood pressure should be gets a little more complicated on the lower end, as the tipping point for dangerously low blood pressure can vary person to person.
It’s important to keep both your systolic and diastolic blood pressures in a normal range, Uyen Lam, MD, a cardiologist and director of the Cardiovascular Rehabilitation and Prevention Center at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston, tells Health. Often, the focus is on your systolic blood pressure because it’s a well-known risk factor for cardiovascular disease. But with every increase by 20 mm Hg systolic or 10 mm Hg diastolic, your risk of death from heart disease or stroke doubles, according to the AHA.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Low Blood Pressure
The symptoms of low blood pressure may include:
These symptoms can occur when doing nothing. They are more likely to occur when changing position, such as standing up or when straining on the toilet.
However, often there are no symptoms and low blood pressure is often only identified as a result of a routine medical examination or during the course of an investigation for some other condition or underling illness.
Low blood pressure may be more serious in elderly people who may have an underlying illness or who may be at risk of a fall.
Check your symptoms with healthdirects Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.
Blood Pressure Readings When Youre Over 70
With guidelines about “healthy” blood pressure changing faster than it takes to get a reading, you may be wondering whether what’s acceptable changes with age. After all, blood pressure does tend to naturally rise as people age. Here’s how to make sense of all the numbers.
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Essentially, your blood pressure should fall within the same range no matter how old you are, says Prachant Vaishnava, MD, an assistant professor in medicine and cardiology and a cardiologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. The latest guidelines from multiple organizations, including the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, suggest a blood pressure goal below 120/80 millimeters of mercury regardless of age.
“That means normal blood pressure range for a 70-year-old female should be the same as for a 45-year-old female,” Dr. Vaishnava says.
However, you could be swimming against the tide â many people find their blood pressure rises as they get older. The reason is that blood vessels become less elastic with age and are likely to respond more slowly when you change positions, say from sitting to standing, according to the National Institutes of Health.
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What Is Systolic Blood Pressure
When it comes to understanding blood pressure, it can help to take a more in-depth look at the numbers that make up the final measurement.
The first number in blood pressure readings is your bodys systolic blood pressure. It measures the pressure on your arteries, caused by the contractions of your beating heart as it pushes blood around your body. 120 is the ideal systolic blood pressure measurement, while anything below that indicates low blood pressure. A reading between 120 and 140 could be an indication that your blood pressure isn’t controlled whilst anything more than 140 indicates cause for concern.
Does Normal Blood Pressure Change With Age
Just as our blood pressure readings change according to our posture, sleep time, and stress levels throughout the day, our blood pressure changes as we age. Despite the fluctuating or changing measurements, we should maintain a normal range. As we age, we can expect changes in our cardiovascular health, including our blood pressure and cholesterol levels. There are several factors that reflect our blood pressure levels over the years, including normal blood pressure for seniors.
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What Does A Blood Pressure Reading Look Like
When you have your , 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.
How Often Should You Measure Your Blood Pressure
NHS recommends for adults aged 40 years old and over to have their blood pressure at least every 5 years. If youre at an increased risk of high blood pressure, you should ideally have your blood pressure readings taken once a year.
Having a blood pressure test is easy and provides you with the information to improve your lifestyle therefore preventing ill health. The reading my also reassure you that you are keeping your levels at a healthy range. To test your blood pressure, you can book an appointment to see your GP, have your reading taken at a pharmacy, or buy an at-home testing machine from your local pharmacy.
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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.
Blood Pressure Is Typically Recorded As Two Numbers And A Written As A Ratio
- Systolic: The top number in the ratio, which is also the higher of the two, measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats.
- Diastolic: The bottom number in the ratio, which is also the lower of the two, measures the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats.
Your blood pressure rises with each heartbeat and falls when your heart relaxes between beats. While it can change from minute to minute with changes in posture, exercise, stress or sleep, it should normally be less than 120/80 mm Hg for women or men aged 20 or over.
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Blood Pressure Is Diagnosed By A Doctor Using A Blood Pressure Machine The Process Includes:
- Being seated in a chair with your back supported
- Putting your feet flat on the floor and supporting your arm at heart level
- Remaining quiet for five minutes and refraining from talking
It is very important to use the proper size cuff when taking a blood pressure reading. Failure to do so will lead to inaccuracies. A cuff that is too small for the arm circumference will give an artificially high reading. A cuff that is too large will give too low a reading. Initially, blood pressure should be measured in each arm to make sure both readings are the same. The arm with the higher readings should then be targeted for all future blood pressure checks.
If your blood pressure readings are high, your doctor may ask that you return for additional measurements on different days because blood pressure can vary widely from day to day.
Your doctor will most likely diagnose you with high blood pressure if you have several readings of 140/90 or higher. If you have readings of 130/80 or higher and are diabetic or have chronic kidney disease, you are likely to be diagnosed with high blood pressure.
What can I do if I am diagnosed with high blood pressure?
Eat healthy food
Make sure your diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy foods. An easy tool for planning health meals is the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet which can help you reduce your systolic blood pressure by 8-14 mm Hg.
Achieve and Maintain a Healthy Weight
Increase Physical Activity
Correct Way To Measure Blood Pressure With A Bp Monitor
Take your blood pressure measurement in a peaceful, stress-free, and quiet spot at home. Sit in a comfortable chair with adequate back support. Keep your legs uncrossed, and be sure your feet lie flat on the floor.
Next, wrap the BP monitor’s cuff around the upper part of one of your bare arms. Make sure nothing is covering your arm the cuff should be in direct contact with your skin. The cuff should be snug, but you should still be able to slip at least one fingertip underneath.
Set your arm on a supportive surface, such as a desk. The cuff’s center part should be at heart level. Once you’re all set, you can turn on your BP monitor so that it can start taking your BP.
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Get Regular Blood Pressure Checks
If your blood pressure is in the healthy range and you have no other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and no personal or family history of high blood pressure, it is still important to have a check at least every two years. Your doctor can also check your blood pressure during routine visits.
If your blood pressure is highnormal , or if you have other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as a personal or family history of high blood pressure, stroke or heart attack, it is best to have it checked more frequently such as every 6 to 12 months or as directed by your doctor. Ask your doctor for advice.
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.
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Heart Attack And Heart Disease
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.