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What Would Be Considered High Blood Pressure

What Do Blood Pressure Numbers Mean

What is High Blood Pressure? (HealthSketch)

Blood pressure is measured using two numbers:

The first number, called systolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats.

The second number, called diastolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between beats.

If the measurement reads 120 systolic and 80 diastolic, you would say, 120 over 80, or write, 120/80 mmHg.

High Blood Pressure And Daily Activity

Check with your doctor before starting a new activity or increasing your level or intensity. Be active safely. Build up your levels of activity gradually.

Try to do at least 30 to 45 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week. This can be done in bouts of 10 minutes or longer, if that is more convenient.

Physical activity is any form of bodily movement performed by our large muscle groups. Moderate-intensity physical activity , such as brisk walking or cycling, is enough to provide health benefits.

Walking is a great activity for all ages. You may like to join one of the Heart Foundations community walking groups.

Some types of exercises, such as body presses and lifting heavy weights, can raise your blood pressure. Avoid these if you have high blood pressure.

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Know Your Numbers: Blood Pressure

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Knowing and understanding key heart numbers blood pressure, cholesterol and heart rate, along with your family history allow you and your health care team to determine your risk for developing heart and cardiovascular disease. Knowing your risk is critical to preventing heart disease and for taking steps to improve your overall heart health.

What Is Considered High Blood Pressure For Older Adults

Scientific Publishing High Blood Pressure Chart

Recent updates to guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology changed the definition of high blood pressure or hypertension for most people. High blood pressure is now generally defined as 130 or higher for the first number, or 80 or higher for the second number . However, there are important considerations for older adults in deciding whether to start treatment for high blood pressure, including other health conditions and overall fitness. If your blood pressure is above 130/80, your doctor will evaluate your health to determine what treatment is needed to balance risks and benefits in your particular situation.

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What Questions Might I Be Asked In The Emergency Room

Your healthcare provider will interview you when you enter the emergency room. Do your best to prepare yourself to answer the following questions, and more, that your healthcare provider may ask.

  • What medications are you on?
  • Did you forget your blood pressure medication?
  • What symptoms do you have?
  • How long have you had these symptoms?

If youre unable to check your blood pressure, but think it might be high, dont hesitate to call 911 or go to the emergency room.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/14/2021.

References

Checking Blood Pressure At Home

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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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:

  • Certain medications or combinations of medications
  • Chronic kidney disease

How To Lower Stage 1 Hypertension

Blood Pressure: How High is Too High and How Do I Lower it Safely?

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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.

What Are The Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure In Women

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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The Definition For What Is Considered High Blood Pressure Has Been Tightened Here’s What You Need To Know

If you didn’t have high blood pressure before, there’s a good chance you do now.

In 2017, new guidelines from the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and nine other health organizations lowered the numbers for the diagnosis of hypertension to 130/80 millimeters of mercury and higher for all adults. The previous guidelines set the threshold at 140/90 mm Hg for people younger than age 65 and 150/80 mm Hg for those ages 65 and older.

This means 70% to 79% of men ages 55 and older are now classified as having hypertension. That includes many men whose blood pressure had previously been considered healthy. Why the change?

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Menopause

Think You

Estrogen is used by many parts of a womanâs body. As levels of estrogen decrease, you could have various symptoms. Many women experience mild symptoms that can be treated by lifestyle changes such as avoiding caffeine or carrying a portable fan. Some women donât require any treatment at all, but for others, symptoms can be more severe. The severity of symptoms varies greatly around the world and by race and ethnicity.

Here are the most common changes you might notice at midlife. Some may be part of aging rather than directly related to menopause.

Change in your period. This might be what you notice first. Your periods may no longer be regular. They may be shorter or last longer. You might bleed more or less than usual. These are all normal changes, but to make sure there isnât a problem, see your doctor if:

  • Your periods happen very close together.
  • You have heavy bleeding.
  • Your periods last more than a week.
  • Your periods resume after no bleeding for more than a year.

Bladder control. A loss of bladder control is called incontinence. You may have a sudden urge to urinate, or urine may leak during exercise, sneezing, or laughing. The first step in treating incontinence is to see a doctor. Bladder infections also can occur in midlife.

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What Is Low Blood Pressure

While hypertension can be problematic for your overall health, blood pressure thats too low can also be cause for concern. With that said, the American Heart Association doesnt recognize a specific day-to-day blood pressure reading as too low. Instead, its a matter of what symptoms you may be experiencing due to low blood pressure, how these symptoms affect you and how long they persist.

The Blood Pressure Chart

Once you know your numbers, you can use the blood pressure chart to see what they mean and if your blood pressure is in the healthy range. The chart is suitable for adults of any age, as the cut-off point for diagnosing high blood pressure doesnt change with age.

How to use the blood pressure chart

Simply find your top number on the left side of the chart and your bottom number on the bottom. Where the two lines meet is your blood pressure.

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How Is High Blood Pressure Treated

Treatment for hypertension depends on how high your blood pressure is, as well as your lifestyle and risk factors.

For elevated blood pressure, the goal is to keep your blood pressure from developing into clinical hypertension. No medications are necessary at this stage. Your doctor may recommend:

For stage 1 hypertension, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes as mentioned above, as well as:

  • reducing your sodium intake
  • finding healthy ways to manage your stress
  • medication, if your blood pressure doesnt improve after 1 month of lifestyle changes

For stage 2 hypertension, the typical treatment, in addition to a healthier lifestyle, is medication. Your doctor may prescribe one or more of the following medications to help lower your blood pressure:

A hypertensive crisis requires immediate treatment. Medications may be given orally or intravenously .

The most for a hypertensive crisis include:

Q: What Can People Do Between Visits To The Doctor To Monitor Their Blood Pressure

Blood pressure: what causes high blood pressure?

A: We tell our patients to check their blood pressure at home before they take their medications. Write those numbers down and bring them to your visit. Bring your home blood pressure monitor to the clinic so we can look at those readings and correlate with office blood pressure measurements. We want to get better at tracking blood pressure so we know where each patient is at.

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When To Contact A Medical Professional

If you have high blood pressure, you will have regular checkups with your provider.

Even if you have not been diagnosed with high blood pressure, it is important to have your blood pressure checked during your regular check-up, especially if someone in your family has or had high blood pressure.

Contact your provider right away if home monitoring shows that your blood pressure is still high.

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When To Call Your Doctor

The risks of both high and low blood pressure make monitoring your blood pressure at home essential to your overall health and well-being. Both Dr. Wong and Dr. Desai recommend calling your healthcare provider if your self-monitored blood pressure readings are greater than 180/120 mmHgeven if you have no other symptoms.

You should call 911 if these blood pressure readings are associated with symptoms of organ damage, such as headache, vision changes, weakness, numbness, chest pain or shortness of breath, says Dr. Wong.

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You Shouldn’t Ignore White Coat Hypertension

American Heart Association Changes High Blood Pressure Guidelines

Some people experience white coat hypertension, when blood pressure is elevated in the doctor’s office but not in other settings. These patients need to monitor their blood pressure at home or wear an ambulatory blood pressure monitor that takes your blood pressure every 30 minutes for 24 hours.

While white coat hypertension was formerly considered simple nervousness, recent research suggests otherwise.

A study published in the journal Hypertension found that people with white coat hypertension are at a significantly greater risk for developing sustained high blood pressure than people who have normal blood pressure. One possible explanation is that people with white coat hypertension have a harder time managing stress and anxiety.

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