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What Is The Normal Blood Pressure Reading For Adults

High Blood Pressure Clinical Guidelines

What is a normal blood pressure reading?

Hypertension clinical guidelines from the American Heart Association are comprehensive guidelines for healthcare professionals for the detection and treatment of high blood pressure in a wide range of patients. Included in the 2021 hypertension clinical guidelines are proper methods for measuring blood pressure, risks for hypertension, and hypertension treatment for different populations.

These guidelines help guide healthcare practices, and can be related to patient reimbursement and healthcare coverage. The tenth revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, or ICD-10, is the set of codes used to designate specific health conditions and allow for reimbursement through health insurance programs.

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.

Measuring Your Blood Pressure

Healthcare professionals use a stethoscope and a manual sphygmomanometer to measure your blood pressure. Typically they take the reading above your elbow. The sphygmomanometer has a bladder, cuff, bulb, and a gauge. When the bulb is pumped it inflates the bladder inside the cuff, which is wrapped around your arm. This inflation will stop the blood flow in your arteries.

The stethoscope is used to listen for sound of the heartbeat, and no sound indicates that there is no flow. As the pressure is released from the bladder, you will hear the sound of the blood flowing again. That point becomes your blood pressure systolic reading. The diastolic reading is when you hear no sound again, which means that the blood flow is back to normal.

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Best Hypertension Management Health Coach App

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What Are The Causes Of High Blood Pressure

What Does my Blood Pressure Reading Mean?

Elevated blood pressure increases your risk of chronic high blood pressure as you age. Taking steps to manage your blood pressure helps decrease this risk.

There are also some health conditions that increase your risks of chronic high blood pressure, including obesity and diabetes. Other causes include:

  • Genetics/family history
  • Lack of exercise
  • Alcohol or tobacco abuse

As adults age, their odds of high blood pressure increase, with 90% of Americans forecasted to develop high blood pressure in their lifetimes. Black people tend to develop high blood pressure more often and earlier in life compared to white people. Hispanics, Asians, American Indians, and Pacific Islanders also stand an increased risk of high blood pressure compared to other ethnicities.

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Choosing A Home Blood Pressure Monitor

The American Heart Association recommends an automatic, cuff-style, bicep monitor.

  • Wrist and finger monitors are not recommended because they yield less reliable readings.
  • Choose a monitor that has been validated. If you are unsure, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice or find options at validatebp.org.
  • When selecting a blood pressure monitor for a senior, pregnant woman or child, make sure it is validated for these conditions.
  • Make sure the cuff fits measure around your upper arm and choose a monitor that comes with the correct size cuff.

How To Lower Blood Pressure

If you’re over 70 and have been told that your blood pressure is too high, don’t let the condition’s lack of symptoms keep you from working to get it into a healthy range. Make it a point to:

Review all your medications with your doctor.“Many people will need medication to manage their blood pressure,” Andromalos says. But be sure to tell your doctor about all other prescriptions you may have and any over-the-counter medications that you take, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or decongestants because they can raise your blood pressure, Dr. Vaishnava says.

Move more. Regular, moderate exercise can help you lower your blood pressure, the Mayo Clinic states. Find an activity you enjoy so that you’ll stick with it cycling, walking, swimming or dancing, for instance. Strength training and high intensity interval training also can help lower your blood pressure.

Lose weight. The higher your body mass, the harder your heart has to work to pump critical blood. Losing even a small amount of weight can help lower your blood pressure, the Mayo Clinic states.

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Systolic Blood Pressure Facts

  • Both blood pressure numbers are important and either number, including systolic, can be used as a diagnosis for high blood pressure.
  • For people aged 50 or older, doctors tend to monitor systolic blood pressure more closely.
  • High systolic blood pressure is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
  • Isolated systolic hypertension is the most common form of high blood pressure 1.
  • Its more typical for the elderly to have high systolic blood pressure but younger people can get it too.

High Systolic Blood Pressure Stage 1

What is a Normal Blood Pressure Reading?

A high systolic blood pressure stage 1 reading is when systolic blood pressure is between 130-139 mmHg, regardless of the diastolic number 3.

Doctors will recommend lifestyle changes and may consider prescribing medicine based on the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Systolic is just one of over ten topics in my article, What Is The Blood Pressure Chart? All Five BP Categories. Check it out and find out why the elevated pressure range is a major concern moving forward.

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Isolated Systolic Hypertension During Pregnancy

High blood pressure, including isolated systolic hypertension poses various risks during pregnancy including:

  • Placental abruption
  • Diabetes
  • Heart valve problems

I wrote a whole blog post about Isolated Systolic Hypertension which dives into the topics in more detail. You can read it by clicking here, Isolated Systolic Hypertension.

Why Does Blood Pressure Increase With Age

Doctors dont completely understand why blood pressure tends to rise with age. Blood pressure is the force of blood as it flows through the arteries. As you age, your arteries may narrow and become stiff. Narrow arteries lead to an increase in blood pressure. High blood pressure can damage the walls of the arteries and the heart itself.

In some cases, high blood pressure could be a result of lifestyle, the environment, certain medications, or other conditions such as sleep apnea, kidney disease, or thyroid problems.

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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.

Modifiable Risks For High Blood Pressure In Women

Blood Pressure Readings Explained

Modifiable risk factors for hypertension are factors that you can control. Learning about these can help you identify areas in your life where you could change some things to lower high blood pressure or lower your risk for high blood pressure.

These are some lifestyle-related issues for hypertension.

Obesity Extra weight requires extra blood volume to circulate oxygen to your tissues, which causes extra pressure in your blood vessels. A BMI of 30 or over corresponds to a weight of 180 lb. for someone who is 56 or 209 lb. for someone who is 510.
Lack of physical activity Your heart must work harder to pump blood through your body, and force on your arteries is higher.
A high-sodium, low-potassium diet Sodium, which is mostly found in salt, raises blood pressure by increasing water retention and blood volume, while potassium has the opposite effect.
Use of tobacco Smoking and chewing tobacco raise blood pressure and damage your arteries.
Excessive alcohol consumption Moderate consumption of red wine can be good for your heart in some cases, but alcohol abuse over time can raise blood pressure.

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Diagnosing High Or Low Blood Pressure

Only one of your numbers needs to be higher than it should be to be diagnosed with high blood pressure, and only one needs to be lower than it should be to be diagnosed with low blood pressure.

So if your top number is over 140 or the bottom number is over 90, you may be diagnosed with high blood pressure, regardless of the other number. If your top number is under 90 or your bottom number is under 60, you may be diagnosed with low blood pressure. Use the chart to see where your numbers sit.

If your top number is consistently higher than 140mmHg, but the bottom number is healthy – this is known as Isolated Systolic Hypertension. If the bottom number is consistently higher than 90mmHg but the top number is healthy – this is known as Isolated Diastolic Hypertension.

Making sure your readings arent a one-off

A single high reading doesnt necessarily mean you have high blood pressure, as many things can affect your blood pressure throughout the day, such as the temperature, when you last ate, and if youre feeling stressed.

Your doctor or nurse will probably want to measure your blood pressure a number of times over a few weeks to make sure the reading wasnt just a one off and that your blood pressure stays high over time.

Read about how high blood pressure is diagnosed, getting a blood pressure check, the further tests you might have if you have a high blood pressure reading, and what it means if youre diagnosed with high blood pressure.

Read more

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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What Is The Ideal Blood Pressure

Blood pressure readings are calculated using one number over another: systolic blood pressure over diastolic. The blood pressure monitor shows measurements in millimetres of mercury, appearing as mmHg. Everyones blood pressure will be slightly different and you would need to discuss with a medical professional as to whats safe for you.

The normal blood pressure range for adults comes in between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg. This means that anything below 90/60mmHg mark constitutes low blood pressure , while anything above 140/90mmHg indicates high blood pressure as this is the threshold where a medical professional would actively monitor your blood pressure.

Knowing these numbers can help make you more aware of your health, and may help you to stay on top of your blood pressure

What Are The Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure In Women

What is normal blood pressure?

High blood pressure, also known as HBP or hypertension, is widely misunderstood and is called the silent killer because there can often be no symptoms. We often assume it affects those who are type-A personalities, tense and aggressive. But the truth is, it has nothing to do with personality traits. In fact, you can be the most relaxed, calm person and still suffer from HBP.

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Should I Worry If My Blood Pressure Is 150 80

Normal pressure is 120/80 or lower. Your blood pressure is considered high if it reads 130/80. Stage 2 high blood pressure is 140/90 or higher. If you get a blood pressure reading of 180/110 or higher more than once, seek medical treatment right away.

Understanding Blood Pressure What Is It

Your blood pressure reading is a measurement of the pressure your blood applies across your artery walls. Your blood pressure changes a little throughout the day when you relax, your blood pressure lowers, and when you move around or feel stress, your blood pressure increases. But high blood pressure over a long term is associated with serious health risks, including heart, brain, and eye damage. Likewise, chronic low blood pressure sometimes comes with health risks. Fortunately, there are helpful ways to manage both high and low blood pressure.

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Isolated Systolic Hypertension In Younger Adults

The elderly are not the only ones who can get isolated systolic hypertension. Younger people get it also but many times they slip through the cracks and dont receive the proper diagnosis 6. This can happen for several reasons including:

  • High systolic blood pressure in the young is often considered an anomaly that will go away.
  • Younger people often have worse diets consisting of fast foods and high sodium.
  • Athletes in school often take steroids to increase their athletic performance and build up strength and muscle.
  • Some risk factors affect all ages including young adults.
  • Younger people often skip regular physicals.

Low Systolic Blood Pressure

Reading the new blood pressure guidelines

The American Heart Association doesnt state a specific number at which blood pressure is considered too low, as long as none of the symptoms of trouble are present. Therefore, what is low systolic blood pressure?

Most experts define low systolic blood pressure as a systolic number less than 90 mmHg.

If you have high BP and dont have a doctor or the correct health plan for you, you may want to check out a health plan service I recommend. They can get a plan fitting your situation and affordable. Visit the eHealth Insurance website for more information.

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Chart: What Are Normal Blood Pressure Ranges By Age For Women

As with men, women’s average BP ranges also vary by age group. The age group with the lowest normal blood pressure reading is different between the systolic and diastolic reading. Women ages 21-25 have the lowest normal diastolic reading , while women age 31-35 have the lowest normal systolic reading . The age group with the highest normal blood pressure reading is women ages 56-60 .

The Difference Between Blood Pressure And Pulse

Blood pressure refers to the force of blood against the artery walls, whereas a persons pulse indicates the number of times the heart beats per minute.

A resting heart rate is when a person is sitting, lying down, or not engaged in an activity.

An active heart rate is when a person is exercising or engaged in physical activity.

Everyone has a slightly different resting heart rate, but the average rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. A physically active person may have a heart rate as low as 40 beats per minute.

Similarly to blood pressure, a persons heart rate or pulse indicates how healthy the heart is.

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High Blood Pressure Categories

You can divide high blood pressure into five categories, according to guidelines from the American College of Cardiology:

  • Normal: Normal blood pressure in adults is any blood pressure below 120/80.
  • Elevated: In adults, elevated blood pressure is a systolic reading of 120-129 and a diastolic reading below 80.
  • Hypertension stage I: This stage includes blood pressures ranges of 130-139 or 80-89 .
  • Hypertension stage II: This stage includes blood pressures ranges above 140 or above 90 .
  • Hypertensive crisis: Severely elevated blood pressure is defined as greater than 180 and/or 120 and associated with new or worsening organ damage.

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