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.
Have Your Blood Pressure Measured Regularly
Have your blood pressure measured regularly and know what your blood pressure is. Remember that both numbers are important. If either the systolic or diastolic number is high , then your doctor will need to further check your blood pressure. A blood pressure measurement of less than 120/80 mmHg is very good unless it causes dizziness.
How Serious Is Your Hypertension
Doctors classify hypertension according to systolic pressure and diastolic pressure readings and the effects various levels can have on your health.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a health condition that affects about one in three American adults. But not everyone who has hypertension has high blood pressure to the same degree. Doctors use four hypertension categories to help classify how likely your blood pressure level is to affect your health: prehypertension, stage 1, stage 2, and hypertensive crisis.
Normal Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is measured by taking two different measurements of the pressure within your arteries: systolic pressure and diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure, the first or top number of the blood pressure reading, is the highest level of pressure in your arteries, which occurs when your heart muscle contracts and forces a burst of blood into the aorta. Diastolic pressure, which is the bottom number, is the pressure that exists within your arteries between heart muscle contractions, which is when your heart is filling with blood.
If your blood pressure reading is less than 120/80 millimeters of mercury or mm Hg , you have normal blood pressure. This means that your systolic pressure is less than 120 mm/Hg and your diastolic reading is less than 80 mm/Hg.
Prehypertension: When Blood Pressure Is Above Normal
Stage 1 and Stage 2 Hypertension
Hypertensive Crisis: A High Blood Pressure Emergency
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What Does It Mean If You Fall Into The New Guidelines
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.
Normal Resting Heart Rate For Kids
As children grow, their normal resting heart rate changes. According to the National Institute of Health:
- Newborns to 1 month old: 70 to 190 beats per minute
- Infants 1 to 11 months old: 80 to 160 beats per minute
- Children 1 to 2 years old: 80 to 130 beats per minute
- Children 3 to 4 years old: 80 to 120 beats per minute
- Children 5 to 6 years old: 75 to 115 beats per minute
- Children 7 to 9 years old: 70 to 110 beats per minute
- Children 10 years and older: 60 to 100 beats per minute
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How Is High Blood Pressure Diagnosed
To figure out your blood pressure rate, your health care provider takes blood pressure readings at different times. You need more than 1 reading because blood pressure changes depending on what you are doing and varies during the day. For example, your blood pressure can increase when you are nervous or in a hurry.
If your blood pressure is high while with your health care provider but normal otherwise, you may just be nervous. This effect is common. Even people already being treated for high blood pressure go through this.
What matters is what happens to your blood pressure outside your health care providers office. If you have high blood pressure, you should use a home blood pressure monitor. Ask your health care provider how to use the monitor correctly.
Get With The Guidelines
In 2017, the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology and nine other health organizations published revised guidelines for blood pressure.
They were updated âbecause research suggested that you can have complications from high blood pressure at lower levels than previously thought,â says Laura Andromalos, RD, CDE, nutrition program manager at Northwest Weight and Wellness Center in Everett, Washington, and a certified diabetes educator coach in the telehealth setting for Cecelia Health. âPreviously, adults over 65 years old were considered to have high blood pressure at levels over 150/80 mmHg.â
We now know that the ideal of 120/80 lowers the risks for both heart attacks and strokes, according to the American Heart Association. However, each person is unique, so at every age, itâs important to work with your doctor to be sure your numbers fall within a range that is ideal for you and your overall health, Dr. Vaishnava says.
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Doctors: Beware Of Low Diastolic Blood Pressure When Treating Hypertension
- Low diastolic blood pressure linked to heart damage.
- Physicians, be aware of not dropping the bottom blood pressure number.
- Overtreated high blood pressure could be dangerous in certain patients.
The researchers caution that their findings cannot prove that very low diastolic blood pressure a measure of pressure in arteries between heartbeats when the heart is resting and also the lower number in a blood pressure reading directly causes heart damage, only that there appears to be a statistically significant increase in heart damage risk among those with the lowest levels of diastolic blood pressure.
A summary of the findings was published Aug. 30 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and coincides with the release of a similar analysis at the European Society of Cardiology Meeting by physicians from Hôpital Bichat in Paris, France.
Released last fall, the SPRINT trial showed protective cardiovascular benefits to patients when physicians aggressively treated high blood pressure down to 120/80 millimeters of mercury, with a primary emphasis on keeping systolic pressure the top number, representing arterial pressure when the heart is pumping at no more than 120.
Researchers followed the participants for 21 years in a series of five visits, with the last check-in in 2013. Each visit included blood pressure measurement, and several included blood testing.
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What Are Dangerous Blood Pressure Levels
by Meaghan Ringwelski / in Health
Blood pressure is one of the most basic vital signs used to determine a person’s overall health. A person’s blood pressure can have a dramatic effect on their overall health. High blood pressure can lead to a lot of very serious health problems, and can damage many organs in the body. It is important to monitor your blood pressure on a regular basis if it gets too high, medication or other treatments may become necessary.
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What Defines High Blood Pressure
According to the American Heart Association, there are clear ranges of normal and abnormal blood pressure. A blood pressure reading consists of two numbers: systolic pressure and diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure measured the pressure on artery walls while the heart is pumping blood. Diastolic measures the pressure during the rest in between beats.
- Normal blood pressure: 120 over 80
- Elevated blood pressure: 120-129 over less than 80
- Hypertension stage 1: 130-139 over 80-89
- Hypertension stage 2: 140 or higher over 90 or higher
- Hypertensive Crisis: higher than 180 over higher than 120
These numbers do not vary from person to person, no matter what other factors make them different.
Blood pressure can elevate due to a dramatic change in temperature or a moment of stress. For this reason, hypertension is not usually diagnosed by one reading. If when tested you present an elevated blood pressure, often you will test again a few minutes later. Official hypertension is usually diagnosed after a series of high readings. It is important to pay attention to your blood pressure measurements and you should check it often if your blood pressure is high.
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.
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Who Is Affected By Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure can affect people of all ages, although it is more common in older people who are frail or bedridden. Pregnant women and older adults are more likely to have orthostatic hypotension. Children and young adults are most likely to experience neurally mediated hypotension, but they often outgrow it.
Hypotension commonly affects people who:
- Are taking certain medications that cause low blood pressure.
- Have hormonal imbalances or vitamin deficiencies.
- Also have heart problems or liver disease.
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Preventing High Blood Pressure
To keep your blood pressure in the normal range, your daily habits are key. These things help:
Donât smoke. Among the many health problems that smoking causes, it raises your blood pressure.
Make physical activity a habit. Most experts recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity five or more times a week. Or you could do a harder activity for a shorter period of time per session.
Eat right. Read food labels to see how much sodium is in a serving. Check with your doctor to find out what your daily limit should be. Include a lot of vegetables and fruits, along with whatever else you choose to put on your plate.
Stick to a healthy weight. Extra pounds raise your blood pressure. If youâre not sure what a healthy weight would be for you, ask your doctor.
If you drink alcohol, limit it to no more than one drink a day if youâre a woman and up to two drinks a day if youâre a man.
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What Are Uncontrollable Risk Factors
- Race – African Americans develop high blood pressure more often than whites, and it tends to occur earlier and be more severe.
- Heredity – A tendency to have high blood pressure runs in families. If your parents or other close blood relatives have it, youre more likely to develop it.
- Age – In general, the older you get, the greater your chance of developing high blood pressure. It occurs most often in people over age 35. Men seem to develop it most often between age 35 and 50. Women are more likely to develop it after menopause.
*BMI is used to define nutritional status and is derived from the following formula: BMI = 703 x Body Weight divided by The standards are the same for men and women. A BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight.
When To See The Doctor
If you have had episodes where you feel faint or have fainted, see your doctor. In many cases, an episode of low blood pressure is nothing to worry about, but some people may have an underlying problem that needs treatment.
Treating low blood pressure will help reduce symptoms and lower the chances of you fainting or falling and injuring yourself.
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When To Contact A Medical Professional
If low blood pressure causes a person to pass out , seek treatment right away. Or call 911 or the local emergency number. If the person is not breathing or has no pulse, begin CPR.
- Black or maroon stools
Your provider may recommend certain steps to prevent or reduce your symptoms including:
- Drinking more fluids
- Getting up slowly after sitting or lying down
- Not drinking alcohol
- Not standing for a long time
- Using compression stockings so blood does not collect in the legs
What Is Considered Dangerously High Blood Pressure
Blood flows through your arteries, supplying your bodys organs with the oxygen and nutrients they need to function properly. The force of your blood against the walls of your arteries is called your blood pressure. Too much pressure can increase your risk of stroke, heart attack, and other health concerns.
When your blood pressure dangerously high, above 180/120, you could be experiencing a hypertensive crisis and might need emergency treatment. There is a chance that dangerously high blood pressure has caused damage to your bodys organs.
What Is Normal Blood Pressure?
Two numbers are used to measure your blood pressure. The top number on a blood pressure reading measures your systolic pressure, or the amount of force your blood puts on the walls of your arteries when your heart beats. The bottom number measures diastolic pressure, which is the amount of force your blood puts on the walls of your arteries between heartbeats.
If you have whats considered normal blood pressure, your systolic pressure is 120 or lower. Your diastolic pressure is less than 80.
What Causes High Blood Pressure?
A blood pressure reading over 120/80 but lower than 130/80 is considered elevated, while a reading above 130/80 is considered high. If your blood pressure reaches 180/120, you are experiencing whats called a hypertensive crisis.
What Are the Risks of Dangerously High Blood Pressure?
- Headache, confusion and blurred vision
- Chest pain
How to Improve Your Blood Pressure
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What Are The Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure
Most people who have high blood pressure do not have symptoms. This is why its sometimes called the silent killer. It is very important to have your blood pressure checked regularly.
Some people experience headaches, nosebleeds, or shortness of breath with high blood pressure. However, those symptoms can mimic many other things . Usually, these symptoms occur once blood pressure has reached a dangerously high level over a period of time.
When Should You See A Doctor
It is important to have your blood pressure checked at least every other year once you turn 18. If you are at risk for this disease or are over age 40, your blood pressure should be checked yearly.
If doctor diagnosed you with hypertension, you will go for regular blood pressure tests. Make sure to see a doctor immediately if you are having chest pains, dizziness, headache, nosebleeds. Sometimes is vision problems as this may be a sign of hypertensive crisis or another issue related to your hypertension.
Danger #: Heart Attack Or Heart Disease
High blood pressure damages the body if left unchecked. Remember that the health of blood vessels is vital for every part of the body, including organs, to receive the blood-oxygen it needs to function. Hypertension raises the risk of various heart-related diseases and disorders, including:
Coronary artery disease: This disorder affects the arteries responsible for supplying blood to the heart. CAD causes the narrowing of these arteries, cutting off needed blood-oxygen. CAD may lead to heart attack, chest pain, or irregular heartbeat.
Heart failure: The strain that hypertension places on the heart will cause it to weaken. Eventually, the heart may not be able to sustain the extra work required of it, which may lead to heart failure.
How Often Should You Get Your Blood Pressure Checked
If your blood pressure is higher than it should be, follow your doctors advice with regard to how often you should check your blood pressure at home. Also find out from your doctor what you should do if your blood pressure readings are higher than usual.
If you dont have high blood pressure, its still important to get it checked regularly, as blood pressure can change over time. Medical experts suggest the following timeline for low risk individuals:
- For people between 18 and 40. Get your blood pressure checked at least once every 2 years.
- For anyone over 40. Get your blood pressure checked at least once a year.
You may need to have your blood pressure checked more regularly if you:
- have a family history of hypertension
- have heart disease, diabetes, or kidney disease
- are overweight or have obesity
- have sleep apnea or insomnia
You dont necessarily have to get your blood pressure checked at your doctors office. Some health care clinics do free blood pressure screenings. You may also schedule an appointment at your local pharmacy.
Untreated and uncontrolled high blood pressure can damage your blood vessels and other organs, including your heart, kidneys, eyes, and brain.
Complications of hypertension can include: