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What Is The Dangerous Level Of High Blood Pressure

What Is The Normal Blood Pressure Range

High Blood Pressure Numbers: Normal vs. Dangerous

Its normal for the average adults blood pressure levels to fluctuate throughout the day based on what theyre eating, how stressed they are, and whether theyre exercising. Blood pressure is measured using two numbers: systolic and diastolic . Systolic blood pressure measures the pressure in arteries when the heart beats, and diastolic blood pressure measures the pressure in arteries when the heart rests in between beats. Heres a blood pressure chart from the American Heart Association to help you better understand blood pressure measurements:

Most peoples blood pressure will be somewhere below 120/80 mmHg and above 90/60 mmHg. A blood pressure reading that shows numbers outside this range may indicate that someone has high blood pressure or low blood pressure . When it comes to blood pressure numbers, both systolic and diastolic pressure are important. Still, systolic blood pressure is given more attention because having high systolic pressure may be associated with an increased risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.;;;;

As people age, their risk of getting high blood pressure goes up. Adults 19-40 years old will have blood pressure levels that fluctuate between 90-135/60-80 mmHg. Latest hypertension guideline from 2017 labels these younger individuals as hypertensive if the systolic blood pressure is 130-139 or diastolic blood pressure is between 80-89, however the treatment would depend on their calculated risk of cardiovascular disease.

If You Notice A Sudden Decline In Blood Pressure

A single lower-than-normal reading is not cause for alarm, unless you are experiencing any other symptoms or problems. If you experience any dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea or other symptoms, its a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider. To help with your diagnosis, keep a record of your symptoms and activities at the time they occurred.

Is low blood pressure related to low heart rate? Find out.

Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.

Last Reviewed: Oct 31, 2016

Diagnosing High Blood Pressure

The only way to find out whether you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked regularly. Ask your GP when you are next due for yours to be checked.

Before having your blood pressure taken, you should rest for at least five minutes and empty your bladder. To get an accurate blood pressure reading, you should be sitting down and not talking when the reading is taken.

Having one high blood pressure reading does not necessarily mean that you have high blood pressure. Your blood pressure can change throughout the day. Feeling anxious or stressed when you visit your GP can raise your blood pressure .

Therefore, your GP will need to take several readings over a set period of time, usually every month, to see whether your blood pressure level is consistently high.

Blood and urine tests may also be carried out in order to check for conditions that are known to cause an increase in blood pressure, such as kidney infections.

You may also be given a blood pressure device to take home so that you can record your blood pressure level throughout the day. This also helps to identify white coat syndrome and therefore helps to identify the best treatment options for you.

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Lowering Systolic Blood Pressure More May Cut Health Risks

One major study found;that lowering systolic blood pressure to well below the commonly recommended level also greatly lowered the number of cardiovascular events and deaths among people at least 50 years old with high blood pressure.

When study participants achieved a systolic blood pressure target of 120 mmHg compared to the higher target of 140 mmHg recommended for most people, and 150 for people over 60 issues such as heart attack, stroke and heart failure were reduced by almost one-third, and the risk of death by almost one-fourth.

“That’s important information, because more lives may be saved and more deaths may be prevented if we maintain lower blood pressure in certain patients,” says Lynne Braun, NP, PhD, a nurse practitioner at the Rush Heart Center for Women.

Braun cautions, however, that your personal blood pressure target depends on a variety of things, including your current blood pressure, lifestyle, risk factors, other medications you are taking and your age. “Every person has to be evaluated as an individual,” she says. “Realistically, we can’t get everybody down to 120, and trying to do so may create unintended problems.”

It can be dangerous, for instance, to keep an older person on medications that have unsafe side effects, such as diuretics , which can cause dehydration and dizziness in older adults.

And there can be other issues involved with taking multiple medications, such as cost and compliance.

Checking Blood Pressure At Home

Managing high blood pressure

Keeping track of blood pressure at home is important for many people, especially if you have high blood pressure. This helps you and your doctor find out if your treatment is working.

Your doctor may also suggest that you check your pressure at home if they think you may have “white coat hypertension.” It’s a real condition. The stress of being in a doctor’s office raises your blood pressure, but when you’re home, it’s normal.

Ask your doctor to recommend an easy-to-use home blood pressure monitor. Make sure the cuff fits properly. If your arm is too big for the cuff, the reading may be higher than your blood pressure really is. Ask your doctor for a larger cuff or make sure you buy a home monitor with a cuff that fits you.

You also can use a wrist blood pressure monitor, but they often aren’t as accurate. Follow the directions that come with the device to make sure you are using it correctly.

No matter which type of blood pressure monitor you have, it’s a good idea to take it to your doctor’s office. You can compare its reading to the numbers your doctor gets. Avoid caffeine, cigarettes, and exercise for at least 30 minutes before the test.

When you take your blood pressure at home, sit up straight in a chair and put both feet on the floor. Ask your doctor or nurse to show you the right way to position your arm so you get accurate readings.

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Who Is Considered Overweight Or Obese

The CDC defines adult overweight and obesity as weight that is higher than what is considered as a healthy weight for a given height.

An adult who is 20 years of age or older is considered overweight if he or she has a body mass index between 25 and 29.9, and obese if he or she has a BMI of 30 or more. While BMI may not tell the whole story when it comes to weight, it is widely used as a metric to determine overweight and obesity.

What Weight Goal Should You Have To Lower Blood Pressure

If youre concerned about weight, check with your doctor to come up with a weight goal thats right for you.

Many experts suggest setting SMART goalsspecific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound goalsto achieve long-term weight loss. You might also think in terms of process goalse.g., walking 10,000 steps a day, vs. losing a certain number of pounds. In addition, consider body compositionyour percentages of fat, water, and bone mass.

Scheme: Example of a reasonable weight loss achievement while setting SMART weight goals. More examples +

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Danger #: Systemic Damage

While this last danger is broad, it is crucial to understand all of the potential complications of hypertension. These often appear in forms such as sexual dysfunction, osteoporosis , gout, and insomnia.

Every area of our body depends on a regular flow of blood. While the main complications are listed here, the truth is that high blood pressure can weaken or damage nearly every part of the body.

Who Is Affected By High Blood Pressure

What is blood pressure, and why is high blood pressure dangerous?

Approximately 1 in 3, more than 100 million, American adults have high blood pressure. But only half of those people have their condition under control. Many people develop high blood pressure when they are in their late 30s or early 40s, and it occurs more frequently as people age. However, because of the obesity epidemic, more and more children are also developing high blood pressure.

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Ace Inhibitors Open Things Up

These meds lower your body’s supply of angiotensin II — a substance that makes blood vessels contract and narrow. The result is more relaxed, open arteries, as well as lower blood pressure and less effort for your heart. Side effects can include a dry cough, skin rash, dizziness, and high potassium levels. Donât get pregnant while taking one of these drugs.

Faq #: Is Low Blood Pressure Dangerous

Low blood pressure usually doesnt cause symptoms and can generally go unnoticed. However, a sudden decline in blood pressure can be dangerous and can have a damaging impact on the body. During low blood pressures, the body may be deprived of enough oxygen to carry out its functions, leading to damage to your heart and brain. Additionally, sudden severe drops in levels of blood pressure can also be life-threatening.

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Target Your High Blood Pressure

Once you have been diagnosed with hypertension, remember that high blood pressure can be lowered. For most people, blood pressure readings should be lower than 140/90 mmHg when measured in the doctors office. At home, your blood pressure should generally be below 135/85 mmHg. For those people with diabetes or kidney disease, lower blood pressure is even more important and should be below 130/80 mmHg when measured in the doctors office.

Most people who lead healthy lifestyles do not suffer from high blood pressure. For those with hypertension, following the steps outlined above will lower their blood pressure.

What Are Dangerous Blood Pressure Levels

The Dangers Of Low Blood Pressure

Blood Pressure Readings Explained. When pressure is dangerously high, your organs won’t get the blood they need to function properly. Blood might leak from them. If your blood pressure reaches dangerously high levels , there is the risk that it will cause damage to the organs. When your blood pressure is too high, the arteries can become inflamed.

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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.

Maintain A Healthy Weight

Being overweight is a risk factor for having high blood pressure, and your risk increases further if you are obese.

There are two ways to check if you are overweight:

  • Body Mass Index – This is your weight in kilograms divided by your height in metres squared. In the UK, people with a BMI of between 25 to 30 are overweight, and those with an index above 30 are classed as obese. People with a BMI of 40 or more are morbidly obese.;
  • Waist size;- Using a measuring tape place the tape round your waist between the bottom of your ribs and the top of your hip bone. The table below indicates how much your health might be at risk, your ethnicity should also be taken into account.;
Sex
; Over 80 cm

The best way to tackle obesity is by reducing the amount of calories that you eat, and taking regular exercise. Your GP can provide you with further information and advice on how you can do this.

More about having a healthy weight

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Normal Blood Pressure Readings

Blood pressure is considered to be in the normal range when its systolic pressure is below 120 and its diastolic pressure is less than 80. In other words, a blood pressure reading of 110/65 is considered to be within the normal range. Anything below 120/80 is considered normal, but if either of these numbers exceeds that point, high blood pressure is present.

Blood Pressure Checks During Pregnancy

What is more dangerous, high or fluctuating blood pressure?

If you are pregnant, you should have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis, even if it is not high.

Watching your blood pressure while you are pregnant reduces your risk of developing pregnancy-induced hypertension. This can lead to a serious condition called;pre-eclampsia where there is a problem with the placenta .

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How Blood Pressure Is Measured

A doctor or nurse will measure your blood pressure with a small gauge attached to an inflatable cuff. It’s simple and painless.

The person taking your blood pressure wraps the cuff around your upper arm. Some cuffs go around the forearm or wrist, but often they aren’t as accurate.

Your doctor or nurse will use a stethoscope to listen to the blood moving through your artery.

Theyâll inflate the cuff to a pressure higher than your systolic blood pressure, and it will tighten around your arm. Then theyâll release it. As the cuff deflates, the first sound they hear through the stethoscope is the systolic blood pressure. It sounds like a whooshing noise. The point where this noise goes away marks the diastolic blood pressure.

In a blood pressure reading, the systolic number always comes first, and then the diastolic number. For example, your numbers may be “120 over 80” or written as 120/80.

Measuring Your Blood Pressure At Home

You can also diagnose yourself with hypertension by measuring your blood pressure at home. If readings are high over two visits at the doctors office, and if your blood pressure is higher than 135/85 mmHg when properly measured at home, then the diagnosis of hypertension can be made. This requires you to measure your blood pressure twice a day, in the morning and evening, for one week. Pay no attention to the measurements from the first day. Measuring blood pressure at home requires accurate equipment and proper measuring techniques. Measure the blood pressure of others in your house; their blood pressure may also be high.

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The Basics Of Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is the force at which blood presses against the body’s arteries as it is pumped by the heart. There are two parts to any blood pressure reading: the systolic pressure and the diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure is the pressure that occurs when a heart is in the process of a beat; it is listed above the diastolic pressure. Diastolic pressure is the pressure that occurs in the body’s arteries in between heartbeats, and is listed below the systolic pressure.

  • Blood pressure is the force at which blood presses against the body’s arteries as it is pumped by the heart.
  • Diastolic pressure is the pressure that occurs in the body’s arteries in between heartbeats, and is listed below the systolic pressure.

Measuring Ambulatory Blood Pressure

What is the danger zone for high pressure ...

High blood pressure can also be diagnosed through a special device called an ambulatory blood pressure monitor. A doctor, nurse or pharmacist will get you to wear the device for a full day. The device measures blood pressure every 20 to 30 minutes and gives the doctor an average of your blood pressures during the day and while you are sleeping. These devices are not available everywhere and can be uncomfortable to wear.

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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.

Common Causes Of High Blood Pressure Spikes

Some people with high blood pressure will experience sharp rises in their blood pressure. These spikes, which typically last only a short period of time, are also known as sudden high blood pressure. These are some possible causes:

  • Caffeine;
  • Certain medications or combinations of medications
  • Chronic kidney disease

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Treatments For High Blood Pressure

If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, depending on your age and other factors and illnesses that you may have, your doctor may prescribe blood pressure medication to help your blood pressure reading to become as normal as possible.

However, regardless of the medications that your doctor may recommend and prescribe, it is important for you to instill immediate, daily lifestyle changes in order to control this dangerous condition.

Making the necessary changes such as starting a physical exercise program to lose weight, if you are overweight and eating a healthy diet that includes less sodium intake will help to lower your high blood pressure. If you smoke, you should stop smoking as well. In addition to lowering your blood pressure, you will feel much better overall.

Why Is It Important To Know If You Have High Blood Pressure

Dangerous high blood pressure

Early detection of high blood pressure is very important. Often referred to as the silent killer because it may show no symptoms, high blood pressure puts you at an increased risk for heart disease, heart failure, and stroke, among other things. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2013, more than 360,000 deaths in the United States included high blood pressure as a primary or contributing cause.

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