How Often Should I Have My Doctor Check My Blood Pressure
- Once a year if you are age 40 or older or at risk for high blood pressure
- Every three to five years if you are between 18 and 40 without a risk factor for high blood pressure
- People menopause as changes in hormone an affect blood pressure
You can have your blood pressure checked during a regular visit with your primary care provider. Other options include Norton Prompt Care at Walgreens clinics, which offer evening and weekend hours. Your doctor may ask you to check your blood pressure at home using a blood pressure cuff or similar device.
The Future Of Research On Aging And The Heart
Adults age 65 and older are more likely than younger people to suffer from cardiovascular disease, which is problems with the heart, blood vessels, or both. Aging can cause changes in the heart and blood vessels that may increase a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
To understand how aging is linked to cardiovascular disease so that we can ultimately develop cures for this group of diseases, we need to first understand what is happening in the healthy but aging heart and blood vessels. This understanding has advanced dramatically in the past 30 years.
Learn more about The Heart TruthÂ®, a national heart disease awareness campaign for women from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Today, more than ever, scientists understand what causes your blood vessels and heart to age and how your aging cardiovascular system leads to cardiovascular disease. In addition, they have pinpointed risk factors that increase the odds a person will develop cardiovascular disease. They are learning much more about how physical activity, diet, and other lifestyle factors influence the “rate of aging” in the healthy heart and arteries. The aging of other organ systems, including the muscles, kidneys, and lungs, also likely contributes to heart disease. Research is ongoing to unravel how these aging systems influence each other, which may reveal new targets for treatments.
Research From The Smidt Heart Institute Shows That A One
A new study from theSmidt Heart Instituteat Cedars-Sinai shows that women have a lower normal blood pressure range compared to men. The findings were published today in the peer-reviewed journal Circulation.
Currently, established blood pressure guidelines state that women and men have the same normal healthy range of blood pressure. But the new research shows there are differences in normal blood pressure between the sexes.
Our latest findings suggest that this one-size-fits-all approach to considering blood pressure may be detrimental to a womans health, saidSusan Cheng, MD, MPH, MMSc, associate professor of Cardiology and director of the Institute for Research on Healthy Aging in the Department of Cardiology at the Smidt Heart Institute and senior author of the study. Based on our research results, we recommend that the medical community reassess blood pressure guidelines that do not account for sex differences.
The first number in a blood pressure reading is called the systolic pressure and measures the force of the blood against the artery walls as your heart beats. The second number is the diastolic pressure, the blood pressure against the artery walls between heartbeats.
For years, 120 mmHg has been considered the normal upper limit for systolic blood pressure in adults. Persistent elevations above this limit amount to hypertensionwhich is well known as the key risk factor for common cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack, heart failure, and stroke.
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Stage 1 And Stage 2 High Blood Pressure In Women
Stage 1 hypertension is when your blood pressure is 140-159/90-99 mmHg. You would also be considered to have stage 1 hypertension if your systolic blood pressure is 140-159 and your diastolic blood pressure is under 90, or if your diastolic blood pressure is 90-99 and your systolic blood pressure is under 140 as states Heart.org of the AHA.
Stage 2 hypertension is when your blood pressure is over160/100 mmHg, or if your systolic blood pressure is over 160, or if your diastolic blood pressure is over 100. Stage 2 hypertension puts you at higher risk for complications of high blood pressure than stage 1 hypertension does.
High blood pressure is not unique to women, it affects nearly 1 out of every 3 American adults according to the Centers for Disease Control , and another 1 out of 3 are pre-hypertensive and at risk for developing hypertension.
High Blood Pressure Can Usually Be Cured
There is no cure for most cases high blood pressure, but it can be effectively managed by changes in diet and lifestyle, and in some cases, medications. Lifestyle changes include a healthy diet with lower salt intake, regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, managing stress, not smoking, limiting alcohol intake, and taking prescription medications as directed.
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Causes And Risk Factors
You may be at an increased risk for high blood pressure if you smoke, areoverweight, eat a diet thats low on produce and fiber and/or high in fatand salt, drink alcohol to excess, live with chronic stress or dont getmuch physical activity. Some causes of hypertension cannot becontrolledincluding your genes and your race . Aging also plays a role. Even if you do not have hypertensionby age 55 to 65, your lifetime risk for developing it is a whopping 90percent.
But doctors no longer consider hypertension inevitable or untreatable withage, saysSamuel Durso, M.D.,director of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at JohnsHopkins.
In one Johns Hopkins study of 975 older women and men with hypertension,healthy lifestyle steps helped 40 percent stop taking blood pressuremedications. Other research has shown that lifestyle changes can lower therisk for hypertension in African-Americans and others at an increasedgenetic risk.
Overweight And Belly Fatness
Not only on the fat pad as such but their distribution is essential when it comes to assessing possible circulatory risks. Especially the stomach and the waist is the focus today. Here it is straightforward to measure.
Measure at the thickest point just above the navel. When the waist circumference in men exceeds 102 centimeters, and in women 88centimeters, this is a fat warning sign, regardless of body size: With the waist, the health risk increases.
Men should be careful already at waist circumferences from 98 centimeters, women from 80 centimeters. Since the stomach fat causes many adverse changes in your body. For example, liver, muscle, and adipose tissue cells respond worse to the sugar-lowering hormone insulin .
Then the body needs more insulin. It increases the risk of sugar metabolism disorder such as type 2 diabetes. In the context of obesity, insulin resistance can also cause blood pressure to rise and remain too high.
The body mass index is used to classify the weight. It is calculated by sharing the weight by the square of the height . Obesity starts with a BMI of 25 , from 30 there is obesity.
Since normal or underweight people can develop more belly fat, it always depends on the waist circumference.
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Good News About Quitting
The good news is that after you quit smoking, even in your 60s, 70s, or beyond:
- Your heart rate and blood pressure drop to more normal levels.
- Your nerve endings begin to regenerate, so you can smell and taste better.
- Your lungs, heart, and circulatory system will begin to function better.
- You will cough and feel out of breath less often.
- Your chance of having a heart attack or stroke will drop.
- Your breathing will improve.
- Your chance of getting cancer will be lower.
No matter how old you are, all these health benefits are important reasons to make a plan to stop smoking.
What Do The Readings Mean
As a general guide:
140/90mmHg or over you may have high blood pressureMost doctors use 140/90mmHg as the cut off for point for diagnosing . This is the point where your risk of serious health problems goes up. They might prescribe and advise you to make changes to your to bring your blood pressure down. 120/80mmHg up to 140/90mmHg pre-high blood pressureAlso called high-normal blood pressure. This is not high blood pressure, but it is a little higher than it should be and means you could go on to develop high blood pressure. See how you can make to lower it. 90/60mmHg up to 120/80mmHg ideal blood pressureAlso called normal blood pressure. Your blood pressure reading is healthy. At this level you have a much lower risk of heart disease and stroke. Following a will help you to keep it in the healthy range. 90/60mmHg or lower you may have low blood pressure usually isnt a problem, but it can sometimes make you feel faint or dizzy or could be a sign of another health problem.
The video below explains how your blood pressure numbers are linked to the risk of stroke and other disease.
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What Can I Do To Prevent Heart Disease
There are many steps you can take to keep your heart healthy.
Try to be more physically active.Talk with your doctor about the type of activities that would be best for you. If possible, aim to get at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week. Every day is best. It doesn’t have to be done all at once.
Start by doing activities you enjoyâbrisk walking, dancing, bowling, bicycling, or gardening, for example. Avoid spending hours every day sitting.
If you smoke, quit.Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death. Smoking adds to the damage to artery walls. It’s never too late to get some benefit from quitting smoking. Quitting, even in later life, can lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer over time.
Follow a heart-healthy diet. Choose foods that are low in trans and saturated fats, added sugars, and salt. As we get older, we become more sensitive to salt, which can cause swelling in the legs and feet. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and foods high in fiber, like those made from whole grains. Get more information on healthy eating from NIA. You also can find information on the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension eating plan and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Patterns.
Keep your diabetes, high blood pressure, and/or high cholesterol under control. Follow your doctor’s advice to manage these conditions, and take medications as directed.
What Is Low Blood Pressure
While hypertension can be problematic for your overall health, blood pressure thats too low can also be cause for concern. With that said, the American Heart Association doesnt recognize a specific day-to-day blood pressure reading as too low. Instead, its a matter of what symptoms you may be experiencing due to low blood pressure, how these symptoms affect you and how long they persist.
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What Is Heart Disease
Heart disease is caused by atherosclerosis , which is the buildup of fatty deposits, or plaques, in the walls of the coronary arteries over many years. The coronary arteries surround the outside of the heart and supply blood nutrients and oxygen to the heart muscle. When plaque builds up inside the arteries, there is less space for blood to flow normally and deliver oxygen to the heart. If the flow of blood to your heart is reduced by plaque buildup or is blocked if a plaque suddenly ruptures, it can cause angina or a heart attack. When the heart muscle does not get enough oxygen and blood nutrients, the heart muscle cells will die and weaken the heart, diminishing its ability to pump blood to the rest of the body.
Find out more about heart attacks.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Menopause
Estrogen is used by many parts of a womanâs body. As levels of estrogen decrease, you could have various symptoms. Many women experience mild symptoms that can be treated by lifestyle changes such as avoiding caffeine or carrying a portable fan. Some women donât require any treatment at all, but for others, symptoms can be more severe. The severity of symptoms varies greatly around the world and by race and ethnicity.
Here are the most common changes you might notice at midlife. Some may be part of aging rather than directly related to menopause.
Change in your period. This might be what you notice first. Your periods may no longer be regular. They may be shorter or last longer. You might bleed more or less than usual. These are all normal changes, but to make sure there isnât a problem, see your doctor if:
- Your periods happen very close together.
- You have heavy bleeding.
- Your periods last more than a week.
- Your periods resume after no bleeding for more than a year.
Bladder control. A loss of bladder control is called incontinence. You may have a sudden urge to urinate, or urine may leak during exercise, sneezing, or laughing. The first step in treating incontinence is to see a doctor. Bladder infections also can occur in midlife.
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The Blood Pressure Chart
Once you know your numbers, you can use the blood pressure chart to see what they mean and if your blood pressure is in the healthy range. The chart is suitable for adults of any age, as the cut-off point for diagnosing high blood pressure doesnt change with age.
How to use the blood pressure chart
Simply find your top number on the left side of the chart and your bottom number on the bottom. Where the two lines meet is your blood pressure.
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What Is Normal Blood Pressure For A Woman
Normal blood pressure is considered to be 120/80 mm Hg. However, blood pressure is a variable thing. It fluctuates throughout the day, rising and falling based on many factors. If youre wondering, What is normal blood pressure for a woman? the answer is that there is a range of normal, and age is a major factor in determining what your ideal blood pressure should be.
First, lets understand what blood pressure is, why high blood pressure is dangerous, and what the risk factors are so that we can fully answer the question about what normal blood pressure for a woman is.
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Checking Your Blood Pressure
The best way to find out if you have hypertension is by checking your blood pressure. This can be done at the doctors office, at home with a blood pressure monitor, or even by using a public blood pressure monitor, such as those found in shopping malls and pharmacies.
You should know your usual blood pressure. If you see a significant increase in this number the next time your blood pressure is checked, you should seek further evaluation from your healthcare provider.
What Causes Hypertension In People Over Age 60
- Age: Blood pressure increases with age, as more pressure is exerted on the artery walls.
- Obesity: Overweight and obese people tend to be at increased risk of hypertension.
- Salt intake: Consumption of high amounts of sodium is a risk factor for hypertension.
- Sedentary lifestyle: As people get older, their levels of daily physical activity may reduce and lead to a greater risk of hypertension.
- Alcohol intake: Drinking too much alcohol can increase the risk of hypertension.
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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.
Hypertension Is A Common Cause For Erectile Dysfunction In Men
Hypertension is a common cause for erectile dysfunction in men. When you have vascular disease such as hypertension, you have it all over your body and it can affect all bodily functions including erections. Adequate blood flow is needed to get and maintain an erection and any problems with blood flow can result in ED. This is why it’s important men seek treatment for ED it may be due to underlying medical conditions such as hardening of the arteries or diabetes. Early detection of these diseases allows patients to receive treatment right away and possibly prevent complications.
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Managing Stress For Women
You may not be surprised to learn that stress can contribute to increases in blood pressure, both in the moment and over time. Stress from jobs, relationships, financial pressures, and other aspects of life can be harmful. Some of it is unavoidable, but the good news is that research suggests that how you respond to stress affects how much harm the stress does.
Learning to manage stress can be well worth it. These are some common and helpful approaches:
- Exercise regularly
- Relax with stretching, massage, or a hot bath
- Use deep breathing techniques
- Talk yourself through it
- Phone a friend
It can be hard to learn how to manage stress, but practice helps. Lark health coach can also help by letting you identify when you are stressed and offering suggestions for staying calm and in control in the moment.