What Is Normal Blood Pressure For Women
Did you know high blood pressure is common among women? Especially for women in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. In fact, women who have gone through menopause are at an even greater risk.
Health Harvard explains, By the time they reach their 60s and 70s, 70% of women have high blood pressure. After age 75, that figure rises to nearly 80%, according to the CDC. This is why prevention is so important! Here are the normal blood pressure readings for women by age:
- Age 18-29
- Age 40-59
- Age 60+
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 , regardless of the other number. If your top number is under 90 or your bottom number is under 60, you may be diagnosed with . Use the 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 , getting a , the you might have if you have a high blood pressure reading, and .
Find out why systolic blood pressure is the most important when it comes to keeping an eye on your numbers.
How Do The New Guidelines Affect Me
The new guidelines might affect you if you were on the border of having high blood pressure before 2017. However, it wont affect you if you already had high blood pressure. For example, around 75% of men over 55 now have high blood pressure with the new guidelines. Some of them did not have high blood pressure before this change.
To be exact, the old guidelines stated that high blood pressure was anything above 140/90. With the new guidelines, high blood pressure is defined as anything above 130/80.
The new guidelines also recommend that you get a system to test yourself at home. Usually, you can find a good system for under a hundred dollars, and some insurance providers will help you pay for them. The guidelines recommend that you measure your blood pressure a couple of times weekly and see your doctor if you notice any dramatic changes.
When you buy a blood pressure monitor, make sure to that it:
- Fits around your upper arm
- Has an automated monitor, and that the cuff inflates itself
- Contains a screen big enough for you to read your results
You can also try to find a monitor that automatically transfers your data over to your smartphone. This, however, is optional.
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Why Knowing Your Numbers Is Important
High blood pressure occurs when the force of the blood being pumped through your arteries is too strong .
Over time, extreme hypertension can cause blood vessels to become inflamed and even leak fluid or blood.
Additionally, the condition strains the heart so much that it can eventually lead to heart attack and heart failure .
Other consequences include kidney failure, stroke, and death.
If blood pressure isnt well monitored, it can lead to a hypertensive crisis
A systolic reading of 180 mm Hg or higher OR a diastolic reading of 110 mm HG or higher may indicate that a crisis is occurring.
If your reading is abnormally high, wait a couple of minutes and measure the pressure again.
If its the same or higher, seek immediate emergency medical treatment. Other symptoms may include a severe headache, severe chest pain, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, nosebleeds, seizures, unresponsiveness, and severe anxiety .
If emergency medical treatment is not administered in time, the patient may suffer from :
- Damage to the eyes and kidneys
- Loss of kidney function
- Pulmonary edema
Lifestyle Changes With Blood Pressure Of 170/70
Medications can do a lot to reduce high blood pressure but lifestyle changes remain a frontline of defense.
The first step is to monitor your blood pressure on a consistent basis. Purchase a home blood pressure monitor that uses an arm cuff and check your blood pressure every few days. Keep a record of your blood pressure readings and share it with your doctor at your next visit.
Whether youre checking your blood pressure regularly or not, lifestyle modifications are usually recommended. Lifestyle modifications for those with a blood pressure of 170/70 include the following:
- Stop smoking
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What Is Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of arteries as the heart pumps blood. When a health care professional measures your blood pressure, they use a blood pressure cuff around your arm that gradually tightens. The results are given in two numbers. The first number, called systolic blood pressure, is the pressure caused by your heart contracting and pushing out blood. The second number, called diastolic blood pressure, is the pressure when your heart relaxes and fills with blood.
A blood pressure reading is given as the systolic blood pressure number over the diastolic blood pressure number. Blood pressure levels are classified based on those two numbers.
- Low blood pressure, or hypotension, is systolic blood pressure lower than 90 or diastolic blood pressure lower than 60. If you have low blood pressure, you may feel lightheaded, weak, dizzy, or even faint. It can be caused by not getting enough fluids, blood loss, some medical conditions, or medications, including those prescribed for high blood pressure.
- Normal blood pressure for most adults is defined as a systolic pressure of less than 120 and a diastolic pressure of less than 80.
- Elevated blood pressure is defined as a systolic pressure between 120 and 129 with a diastolic pressure of less than 80.
- High blood pressure is defined as 130 or higher for the first number, or 80 or higher for the second number.
How Can I Be More Active
- Check first with your healthcare provider before increasing your physical activity. Ask your provider what type and amount of exercise is right for you.
- Choose aerobic activities such as walking, biking or swimming.
- Start slowly and increase activity gradually. Aim for a regular routine of activity five times a week for 30 to 45 minutes each session.
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How Can You Bring Your Blood Pressure Down Quickly
Your brain regulates blood pressure to survive in your environment. You can lower your blood pressure within a couple of minutes by activating your parasympathetic nervous system with deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or tai chi.
When your brain perceives a safe environment, it activates the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic lowers heart rate and blood pressure for digestion, healing, and rest. .
Your brain activates the sympathetic nervous system when it perceives danger, real or imaginary. Your sympathetic system raises your heart rate blood pressure to prepare your body for action.
Hypertension: What You Need To Know As You Age
You cant see high blood pressure, also called hypertension. And most ofthe time, you cant feel it. But if youre among the 78 million Americanswith hypertension or are one of the 70 million with prehypertension, its important to understandits effects on your healthand to take action today to bring your numbersdown to healthier levels.
Blood pressure is the force of blood against the inner walls of yourarteries. It has normal fluctuations throughout the dayfalling when yourerelaxed or asleep, rising naturally in the morning, and increasingtemporarily when youre under stress, excited or exercising. But when yourresting blood pressure level rises too high, it can scar, stiffen and/orweaken blood vessels. This effect can double your risk for aheart attack quadruple your odds for astroke raise your risk forheart failure, vision loss, kidney problems,dementiaand circulation problems such asperipheral artery disease weaken your bones and contribute toerectile dysfunctionin men.
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What Can I Expect If I Have This Condition
Since high blood pressure doesnt cause many symptoms at first, you probably wont feel any different with a high blood pressure diagnosis. But its important to follow your providers instructions to bring your blood pressure down so it doesnt cause serious illnesses later in life.
How long does high blood pressure last?
If you have primary high blood pressure, youll need to control it for the rest of your life.
If you have secondary high blood pressure, your blood pressure will most likely come down after you receive treatment for the medical problem that caused it. If a medication caused your high blood pressure, switching to a different medicine may lower your blood pressure.
What is the outlook for high blood pressure?
You can get seriously ill if you dont treat your high blood pressure. However, if you take the medicines your provider ordered, you can control your blood pressure. Exercising and eating healthy foods also helps lower your blood pressure.
Causes Of Low Blood Pressure
Throughout the day, your blood pressure can vary by between 30-40 mmHg depending on what you are doing. Having a stressful week at work, the temperature outside, and even what you had for lunch could affect your blood pressure reading.
Each time that you have your blood pressure measured, it is important that the test is carried out under similar conditions to ensure that the results are consistent. If you have a low blood pressure reading, your GP will first consider the everyday causes that might have affected it, before considering the possible underlying causes.
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Blood Pressure Guidelines For Seniors
The guidelines above are for the general population, but older adults health needs and benchmarks differ from those of younger individuals in many ways because our bodies function less efficiently with age. While 130/80 mmHg is the generic threshold for starting BP medications, there have been many disagreements among medical professionals regarding the threshold for older adults. Age, frailty and other comorbidities like diabetes and chronic kidney disease complicate this matter even further.
The Eighth Joint National Committee issued new blood pressure guidelines for seniors in 2014 recommending that individuals over age 60 aim for a reading below 150/90 mmHg. The JNC 8 recommendation for patients of any age with diabetes or chronic kidney disease is to aim for BP readings below 140/90 mmHg. These are not hard and fast rules, though, because each seniors health needs are unique.
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.
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What Are The Blood Pressure Guideline Changes
In 2018, the American Heart Association and ten other health organizations updated the blood pressure guidelines. The changes included the following :
- Lowered the blood pressure numbers for diagnosing hypertension to 130/80 mm Hg. The previous guidelines set a threshold of 140/90 mm Hg for people under age 65 and 150/80 mm Hg for people ages 65 and older.
- Eliminated the prehypertension category which was defined as systolic of 120 to 139 mm Hg or diastolic of 80 to 89 mm Hg. Under the new guidelines, this category is split into either elevated blood pressure or Stage 1 hypertension which is 130 to 139 or 80 to 89 diastolic.
- High blood pressure is now classified as Stage 2 hypertension of 140/90 mm Hg. And a hypertensive crisis is anything over 180/120 mmHg.
Do Blood Pressure Medications Work
Yes, blood pressure medications can help lower blood pressure while youre taking them. But your blood pressure rises again if you stop taking them because blood pressure drugs dont treat the cause .
Less than half of patients keep taking their blood pressure medications for two reasons.
- You cant feel high blood pressure
- Blood pressure medications usually have unpleasant side effects such as cramps, fatigue, erectile dysfunction.
If you dont make lifestyle changes, dont bother taking blood pressure medications, because they wont work effectively ~Luke Laffin, MD.
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What Is Normal Blood Pressure
For years we have been told that a normal blood pressure reading is 120/80 however, more and more doctors have now lowered these numbers to 115/75. Blood pressure is different for everyone as many factors can have an effect on the numbers.
Our blood pressure refers to the amount of force behind the blood as it hits the arterial walls. As the heart pumps the blood, an ideal pressure sees the blood push against the walls that are flexible enough to expand and retract easily. Over time, our age, diet, and physical activity play a role on the elasticity of our blood vessels. With a loss of flexibility due to hardening of the walls, the heart needs to work harder to push the blood.
These factors determine the blood pressure numbers. The systolic number is the top number, and it indicates the pressure as the heart beats or pushes the blood throughout the body. The diastolic number is the bottom number, and refers to the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats. During this time, the heart receives oxygen as it fills with blood.
Is 140 Over 70 A Good Blood Pressure Blood Pressure Ranges
Blood pressure readings measure the pressure exerted on your heart when it pumps blood the resistance of blood flow in the arteries. The harder the heart has to pump and the narrower the arteries, the higher the blood pressure.
Generally, normal blood pressure is about 120/80 mmHg or lower. Readings above 140/90 mmHg are considered hypertension, and those above 180/120 mmHg are considered serious. If left untreated, hypertension can lead to heart diseases and stroke.
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What The Studies Found And What They Mean
In one of the observational studies, published Oct. 16, 2016, in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers analyzed the medical records of more than 11,000 adults collected over a period of three decades as part of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. They found that people who had low diastolic blood pressure were twice as likely to have subtle evidence of heart damage compared with people whose diastolic blood pressure was 80 to 89 mm Hg. Low diastolic values were also linked with a higher risk of heart disease and death from any cause over 21 years.
For the second, published Oct. 29, 2016, in The Lancet, researchers analyzed data from CLARIFY, a registry of more than 22,600 people with heart disease from 45 countries. They determined that, compared with people who had systolic blood pressure of 120 to 139 mm Hg and diastolic pressure of 70 to 79, people with a systolic blood pressure of 140 mm Hg or higher were more likely to experience heart attacks or strokes, to be hospitalized with heart failure, or to die within a five-year period. But the same was true for heart attacks, heart failure, and death in people with low blood pressure .
Taking Your Pulse Versus Checking Your Blood Pressure
While both are indications of health, blood pressure and heart rate are two separate measurements. Learn more about the difference between blood pressure and heart rate.
Systolic is less than 120 and my diastolic is less than 80
Systolic is 120 129 and my diastolic is less than 80
The good news is that you dont have high blood pressure. However, your numbers fall within the Elevated category, making you more likely to develop high blood pressure unless you take action to control it. Ready to make some small changes that have big impacts? Healthy lifestyle choices are a great place to start.
Systolic is 130 139 or my diastolic is 80 89
You are in the first stage of hypertension, but there are actions you can take to get your blood pressure under control. Your doctor will speak to you about small changes that can make a big difference and other BP Raisers. In addition, monitoring blood pressure outside of the doctors office is important for BP control.
Systolic is 140 or higher or my diastolic is 90 or higher
Systolic is higher than 180 and/or my diastolic is higher than 120
Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.
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