Which Number Is More Important
Typically, more attention is given to systolic blood pressure as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease for people over 50. In most people, systolic blood pressure rises steadily with age due to the increasing stiffness of large arteries, long-term buildup of plaque and an increased incidence of cardiac and vascular disease.
However, either an elevated systolic or an elevated diastolic blood pressure reading may be used to make a diagnosis of high blood pressure. According to recent studies, the risk of death from ischemic heart disease and stroke doubles with every 20 mm Hg systolic or 10 mm Hg diastolic increase among people from age 40 to 89.
How Is Blood Pressure Measured
Blood pressure is measured using an instrument called a sphygmomanometer. It consists of an inflatable cuff, an inflating bulb, and a gauge to show the blood pressure.
The cuff is wrapped around the upper arm, and inflated to a pressure which temporarily stops the blood from flowing through the brachial artery the main blood vessel in your arm. At this point, the doctor will not be able to feel a pulse in the arm. The cuff pressure is then raised slightly above this point, and then slowly lowered.
As the pressure is lowered, your doctor will listen through a stethoscope for the sound of blood starting to pulse through the brachial artery again. The pressure reading on the sphygmomanometer when the sound of blood is first heard pulsing through the artery is known as the systolic pressure. As the doctor continues to lower the pressure in the cuff, the sounds will disappear. Usually, the point at which the sounds disappear is known as the diastolic pressure.
The systolic reading indicates the pressure of blood within your arteries during a contraction of the left ventricle of the heart. The diastolic reading indicates the pressure within the arteries when the heart is at rest. Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury , for example 120/80 mmHg .
Reading A Blood Pressure Chart
Your BP monitor will display two numbers. The first number is systolic blood pressure . The second number is diastolic blood pressure .
In Canada, the ideal or low-risk systolic pressure is 120 or less. By contrast, the optimal diastolic blood pressure is 80 or less. So, if your BP reading is 120/80 or 117/78, you have normal blood pressure levels.
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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.
Can Your Blood Pressure Ever Be Too Low
Low blood pressure, also known as hypotension, is generally anything below 90/60 mmHg. If any of the two values is lower than 90 or 60 for systolic and distolic blood pressure, respectively, this counts as having low blood pressure.
Generally, this is a good thing, because it means that the risk of a stroke or heart disease is minimal. Most people with hypotension do not require treatment.
There may be instances when a persons blood pressure is low temporarily due to medication. And, sometimes, people can have low blood pressure naturally but this is no reason for concern in and of itself although, in some instances, low blood pressure has been associated with depression.
However, if a patient feels dizzy or like fainting and blood pressure is low, a doctors appointment is warranted.
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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.
High Blood Pressure: Doctor Explains Benefits Of Hibiscus Tea
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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 Do I Know If I Have High Blood Pressure
Theres only one way to know if you have high blood pressure: Have a doctor or other health professional measure it. Measuring your blood pressure is quick and painless.
Talk with your health care team about regularly measuring your blood pressure at home, also called self-measured blood pressure monitoring.
High blood pressure is called the silent killer because it usually has no warning signs or symptoms, and many people do not know they have it.
Optimal Blood Pressure Keeps Our Brains Younger
- 1Centre for Research on Ageing, Health and Wellbeing, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia
- 2College of Engineering & Computer Science, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia
- 3School of Psychology, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
- 4Neuroscience Research Australia, Sydney, NSW, Australia
- 5School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia
- 6Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing , School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia
- 7ANU Medical School, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia
- 8Department of Neurology, Jena University Hospital, Jena, Germany
- 9Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Jena University Hospital, Jena, Germany
Background: Elevated blood pressure is a major health risk factor and the leading global cause of premature death. Hypertension is also a risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia. However, when elevated blood pressure starts impacting cerebral health is less clear. We addressed this gap by estimating how a validated measure of brain health relates to changes in BP over a period of 12 years.
: Increasing blood pressure is associated with poorer brain health. Compared to a person becoming hypertensive, somebody with an ideal BP is predicted to have a brain that appears more than 6 months younger at midlife.
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What Is Normal Blood Pressure According To Age
Blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is produced primarily by the contraction of the heart muscle. Its measurement is recorded by two numbers. The first is measured after the heart contracts and is highest. The second is measured before the heart contracts and the lowest. A blood pressure cuff is used to measure the pressure. Elevation of blood pressure is called “hypertension“.
The chart shows normal blood pressure according to age both male and female. Diastolic blood pressure and Systolic Blood Pressure are included in the chart.
Normal Blood Pressure By Age
What You Should Know About Fluctuating Blood Pressure In The Elderly
As you help monitor your loved ones blood pressure, keep in mind that numbers fluctuate slightly throughout the day thats normal. Several factors influence your blood pressure numbers. For example, your blood pressure may be lower if youre resting and higher if youre stressed. This means you may have a normal reading in the morning and an elevated number in the afternoon.
If youre concerned about excessive fluctuation in your loved ones blood pressure numbers:
- Read instructions to ensure youre using your home blood pressure monitor equipment correctly. Variations in how you measure your loved ones blood pressure can result in different readings.
- Bring your home monitor to your next doctors appointment to compare readings.
- Be aware of white coat hypertension. In some cases, a persons blood pressure may be high at a doctors office but normal at home. This could be attributed to the stress related to a doctors appointment.
Your loved ones doctor may want you to keep a blood pressure diary with several readings a day for a couple of weeks to monitor any variations.
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Stroke And Brain Problems
High blood pressure can cause the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the brain to burst or be blocked, causing a stroke. Brain cells die during a stroke because they do not get enough oxygen. Stroke can cause serious disabilities in speech, movement, and other basic activities. A stroke can also kill you.
Having high blood pressure, especially in midlife, is linked to having poorer cognitive function and dementia later in life. Learn more about the link between high blood pressure and dementia from the National Institutes of Healths Mind Your Risks®external icon campaign.
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Associations Between Blood Pressure And Brainage
Associations between BrainAGE and mean, diastolic and systolic BP are presented in Figure 2. None of the analyses revealed an interaction between BP and Time-in-Study or a random effect of blood pressure on BrainAGE indicating that a change in BrainAGE over time was not predicted by baseline BP or by a change of BP over time . Therefore, only fixed effects are reported below.
Figure 2. Summary of blood pressure measures as predictor of BrainAGE. Note. Whiskers indicate 95% confidence intervals. Dashed line indicates zero. Interaction indicates interaction term between listed predictor and blood pressure measures . Statistically significant coefficients are depicted in pink. All coefficients except for the base model control for sex, cohort, time in study, smoking, education, physical activity, BMI, diabetes, depression, APOE 4 carrier status, alcohol intake, hypertension, and hypertensive medication . Model coefficients can be found in Table 1, and Supplementary Tables 24.
Medications For High Blood Pressure
There is a large variety of medicines available to lower and manage high blood pressure. Your doctor may call them antihypertensives, .
These medications do not cure high blood pressure, but they do help manage it. Once you start to take medicines to manage your blood pressure, you may need to take them for the rest of your life. However, the dose of these medicines may change over time.
If you need to take medication, your doctor will advise you on the correct type and dose. Two or more different medications are often needed to manage blood pressure.
Make sure you take your medicines regularly. Some things that may help you remember to take them include:
- Building them into your daily routine by taking them at the same time each day.
- Keeping them somewhere that will remind you such as next to your alarm, or with your coffee or tea.
- Using a weekly pill box.
- Asking a family member or friend to remind you.
- Always carrying a list of your medicines and their doses with you.
- Entering a daily alarm in your mobile phone or download an app to remind you.
Take any blood pressure medicine exactly as prescribed. Dont stop or change your medicine, unless your doctor advises you to.
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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.
When To Call Your Doctor
A hypertensive crisisdefined as blood pressure above 180/120 mm Hgrequires immediate medical attention. Call 911 if you are also experiencing symptoms such as chest pain, back pain, shortness of breath, difficulty speaking, a change in vision, weakness, or numbness.
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What Is The Best Treatment For High Blood Pressure
Depending on your high blood pressure, lifestyle changes and/or medications may be helpful in maintaining a healthy and normal blood pressure. Some common lifestyle recommendations include:
Systemic Arterial Pressure And Age
Fetal blood pressure
In pregnancy, it is the fetal heart and not the mother’s heart that builds up the fetal blood pressure to drive blood through the fetal circulation. The blood pressure in the fetal aorta is approximately 30 mmHg at 20 weeks of gestation, and increases to approximately 45 mmHg at 40 weeks of gestation.
The average blood pressure for full-term infants:
- Systolic 6595 mmHg
In children, the normal ranges for blood pressure are lower than for adults and depend on height. Reference blood pressure values have been developed for children in different countries, based on the distribution of blood pressure in children of these countries.
Blood Pressure Reading Chart
Below is a blood pressure reading chart for you.
*Remember that the larger figure in your reading represents the systolic value the smaller figure represents your diastolic value. Systolic is the measurement of pressure when the heart is beating. Diastolic is the measurement of pressure when the heart is resting.
What Is Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the force applied by the blood over the inner walls of the arteries. Although the average blood pressure for a person remains constant, it shows minor fluctuations throughout the daydeclining while relaxing and momentarily increasing while being excited or under stress. An increase in the resting blood pressure can scar, stiffen, or harden the arteries.
Blood pressure is written as systolic and diastolic values. Hence, BP 120/80 mm Hg means 120 is the systolic number, and 80 is the diastolic number.
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Blood Pressure Levels At A Glance
Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury . 1 mmHg is equivalent to a pressure of about 133 pascal or 0.00133 bar.
There are two blood pressure readings: systolic blood pressure measures the maximum pressure generated during the contraction phase of the left ventricle of the heart. Diastolic blood pressure is the remaining pressure during the relaxation phase of the heart.
Ideally, blood circulates at a maximum pressure of 120 over 80 mmHg. Up to 129/84 is considered normal elevated blood pressure up to 139/89 is still considered to be within the normal range. Higher levels may be a sign of potentially harmful high blood pressure: 159/99 is considered slightly high blood pressure and levels over 180/110 are considered to be severe high blood pressure.