New Blood Pressure Guidelines 201: Highlights & How Its Changed Normal Blood Pressure
The new 2017 blood pressure guidelines replaced the Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure issued in 2003 and overseen by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
The new blood pressure guidelines were developed by the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology and 9 other health professional organizations.
The new guidelines were written by a group of 21 scientists and health experts who reviewed more than 900 published studies. The guidelines underwent a careful systematic review and approval process.
Why has it been 14 years since the older guidelines? Blood pressure guidelines are not updated on a regular schedule. Theres a reason behind it. Instead, they are changed when sufficient new evidence suggests the old guidelines werent accurate or relevant anymore.
What Your Blood Pressure Numbers Mean
Blood pressure is the force that blood applies to the walls of arteries as it’s pumped throughout the body.
“Your arteries are built to withstand some pressure, but there’s a limit to what they can handle,” says Dr. Nasir.
This is why blood pressure is measured and segmented based on how it affects our health. The four blood pressure categories are:
- Normal blood pressure: Lower than 120/80 mmHg
- Elevated blood pressure: Between 120-129/80 mmHg
- High blood pressure, stage 1: Between 130-139/80-90 mmHg
- High blood pressure, stage 2: 140/90 mmHg or higher
Only normal blood pressure is considered healthy. Having elevated or high blood pressure damages your heart and arteries by:
- Forcing your heart to pump harder. Over time, this causes heart muscle to thicken, making it harder for the heart to fill with and pump blood.
- Narrowing and hardening your arteries. This can limit the normal flow of blood.
General Guidelines For Taking High Blood Pressure Medications
Although taking medication for your high blood pressure may require some adjustments, your doctor has your best interest in mind.
- Follow these recommendations carefully, even if it means taking medication every day for the rest of your life.
- Partnering with your healthcare provider is the best way to reach your treatment goals and enjoy the benefits of better health.
- Naturopathic approaches are not considered a substitute for medications that have been carefully studied and monitored for prescription use. Natural treatments may also not work as advertised and/or interfere with other medications.
- Be aware of how certain over-the-counter medications, like decongestants, may react with your medications or affect your blood pressure.
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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 Is Normal Blood Pressure By Age
Blood pressure ranges for adults are:
- High: Systolic of 130 or above and/or diastolic of 80 or above
- High Blood Pressure Stage 1: Systolic of 130-139 or diastolic of 80-89
- High Blood Pressure Stage 2: Systolic of 140 or higher or diastolic 90 or higher
The normal Blood Pressure Ranges for Adults Chart
|Blood Pressure Category
|Higher than 120
The normal blood pressure for adolescents 13 years or older is less than 120/80 mmHg.
In younger children, the normal range for blood pressure is determined by the child’s sex, age, and height. The normal range is expressed as a percentile, similar to charts used to track children’s growth.
Blood pressure is separated into three categories based upon the child’s blood pressure percentile:
The normal blood pressure range for Children Chart
|Blood Pressure Category
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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.
Whats The Normal Blood Pressure For An 80 Year Old Man
73 83. 75 79 years. 154 166. 80 87. Over 80 years. 147 162. 60 90. This table above shows ranges for normal blood pressure for men over 50 years of age. It is clear from the table that blood pressure rises after the age of 60 years and peaks at about 75-89 years and gradually reduces thereafter.
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Average Blood Pressure By Age
As you get older, your blood vessels tend to become stiffer and plaque can build up in them, which can raise your blood pressure. If your blood pressure becomes too high, you’re at a greater risk for heart disease, strokes, and more.
In 2015, the average blood pressure worldwide was 127/79 mm Hg in men, and 122/77 mm Hg in women, according to a study analysis published in Lancet.
When researchers for the National Center for Health Statistics looked at average blood pressure in U.S. adults between 2001 and 2008, the average reading was 122/71 mm Hg. The breakout was 124/72 mm Hg for men, and 121/70 mm Hg in women. It rose by age and was significantly higher in Black people.
The researchers found the following breakdown by age, sex, and race or ethnicity:
|Blood Pressure by Age
As the population ages and life expectancy increases, high blood pressure is becoming more common.
What Numbers Mean High Blood Pressure What Numbers Mean Normal Blood Pressure
Normal blood pressure is at or under 120 over 80.
In November 2017, blood pressure guidelines were modified. Any blood pressure measurement at or above 130 over 80 is now considered high. And thats what we in the medical community call hypertension. These numbers are down from the old recommendation of 140 over 90.
In the past, many people in the United States were considered prehypertension. The new recommendations get rid of that category, and now almost half of U.S. adults fall into the category of hypertension. That could seem shocking. But patients who are in this category should already be discussing their blood pressure numbers with their primary care doctor. If they arent, now is a good time to connect with their medical provider and come up with a plan for treatment.
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Prevent And Manage High Blood Pressure
Whatever your age, you can take steps each day to keep your blood pressure in a healthy range.
You can help prevent high blood pressurealso called hypertensionby making healthy choices and managing other health conditions you may have.
Health care professionals and other partners can help by visiting The Surgeon Generals Call to Action to Control Hypertension. Learn about specific steps that key sectors can take to make a substantial, positive impact on the health of Americans.
Read The Surgeon Generals Call to Action to Control Hypertension and share it with your colleagues, peers, and loved ones. Incorporate actionable steps into your work, community, or personal life to help reduce high blood pressure.
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.
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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.
Side Effects Of High Blood Pressure
Dangers of untreated high blood pressure include stroke, heart attack, heart failure, vision loss, kidney failure, vascular dementia and sexual dysfunction, says Dr. Desai. Its one of the top risk factors for developing atrial fibrillation, which is the most common heart rhythm disorder worldwide and can lead to stroke, heart failure and reduced quality of life.
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What Is A Sample Dash Diet Sample Menu
A typical 1600 calorie DASH diet menu plan would include the following:
- 2 cups of vegetables
- 2 servings of low-fat/fat-free dairy products
- 6 oz. whole grains
- 5 oz. lean meat, poultry or fish
- 2 teaspoons healthy oils such as olive oil
- 1 oz. nuts and seeds
Rare, mini servings of sweets, salty foods, and alcohol
A typical daily DASH diet sample menu might look like this
- Breakfast: Steel cut oatmeal with chopped pecans, Â½ a chopped apple and cinnamon, black coffee
- Morning snack: other half of apple with 1 tsp peanut butter, large glass of water
- Lunch: spring greens salad with mixed vegetables, grilled chicken breast and vinaigrette dressing on the side. Dip your fork in dressing to get flavor with every bite without saturating the salad with salt and fat. Drink unsweetened iced tea or water.
- Afternoon snack: unsweetened fruity iced tea or carrot sticks with hummus
- Dinner: spiralizer-made zucchini pasta with marinara made with ground turkey and Italian spices, sparkling mineral water
- Dessert: strawberries, 1 tbsp. vanilla yogurt, dusting of cocoa powder
Stress Management And High Blood Pressure
Stress can raise blood pressure even if you are following a healthy DASH diet plan. Many times, the things that cause stress are outside of our control and we feel we cannot change it . What we can change is how we let stress impact us. By learning to be more stress resilient, we can reduce the impacts of stress, such as high blood pressure and weight gain. Stress management techniques such as courses in meditation are a good option. Two types of mediation, transcendental meditation and mindfulness-based stress reduction, have been studied and proven to lower blood pressure as well as increase peace of mind and stress resiliency.
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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.
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.
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What Is A Normal Blood Pressure For A 72 Year Old Woman
what is a normal blood pressure for a 72 year old woman
Like everyone else, the normal BP is approximately 120-140 / 60-80 Either of those numbers outside that range and you should go see a doctor.
BOTH of the numbers should be in the ranges specified.
The first number called the systolic pressure should be between 120 and 140
The second number called the diastolic pressure should be between 60 and 80.
Either number outside should be looked at … It is quite normal for any of us to occasionally have blood pressure slightly outside the ranges. But if you take your bp several times over several days and it’s slightly over, then it’s time to see your doctor.
Your diastolic pressure is much too high. This typically means that your blood vessels are not relaxing between heart beats very well. This can be caused by many things and so you should see your doctor. It’s not normally an emergency level unless you are feeling other symptoms.
What About Hormone Therapy And Heart Attack In Women
After menopause, the production of estrogen by the ovaries gradually diminishes over several years. Along with this reduction, there is an increase in LDL and a small decrease in HDL . These changes in lipid levels are believed to be one of the reasons for the increased risks of developing CAD after menopause. Women who have had their ovaries surgically removed or experience an early menopause, also have an accelerated risk of CAD.
Since treatment with estrogen hormone results in higher HDL and lower LDL cholesterol levels, doctors thought for many years that estrogen would protect women against CAD . Many studies have found that postmenopausal women who take estrogen have lower CAD rates than women who do not. Unfortunately many of the studies were observational studies . Observational studies have serious shortcomings because they are subject to selection bias for example, women who choose to take estrogen hormones may be healthier and have a lower risk of heart attacks than those who do not. In other words, something else in the daily habits of women who take estrogen may make them less likely to develop heart attacks. Therefore, only a randomized trial can establish whether hormone therapy after menopause can prevent CAD.
HERS trial results
WHI trial results
An increase in breast cancer became apparent after three to five years, but the increase in heart disease and pulmonary emboli occurred early on, in the first year.
MedicineNet Medical Editors believe that:
Where Can I Get My Blood Pressure Checked
You can get your blood pressure measured
- By a health care team member at a doctors office.
- At a pharmacy that has a digital blood pressure measurement machine.
- With a home blood pressure monitor that you can use yourself.
Take this form pdf icon with you on your first blood pressure visit to record important blood pressure-related information.
How Common Is High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a common condition, it is estimated that 18% of adult men and 13% of adult women have high blood pressure but are not getting treatment for it.
In 90-95% of cases, there is no single identifiable reason for a rise in blood pressure. But all available evidence shows that lifestyle plays a significant role in regulating your blood pressure.
Risk factors for high blood pressure include:
- poor diet
- being overweight
- excessive alcohol consumption.
Also, for reasons not fully understood, people of Afro-Caribbean and South Asian origin are more likely to develop high blood pressure than other ethnic groups.
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