Why Is It So Important To Know Your Blood Pressure Numbers
Dr. Yeung says that knowing your blood pressure numbers
can be particularly important since most people with high blood pressure have no symptoms. According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, elevated blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is the number one correctable risk factor for stroke and a major risk factor for heart disease. What’s more, hypertension is on the rise in Canadians 18-35 years of age, due in part to rising rates of obesity in children and teens.
Big health benefits are the pay-off for reducing high blood pressure. According to the Canadian Hypertension Society, lowering high blood pressure can reduce:
- Heart attacks by 25%
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.
Do You Know What Your Blood Pressure Is You Should
All adult Canadians should know what their blood pressure numbers are-just like they should know their numbers for weight, cholesterol and blood sugar, says Dr. Albert Yeung, professor of medicine and pharmacology, University of Alberta, Edmonton.
Ask your doctor, write it down and keep it in your wallet.
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Which Is The Most Important Number In Blood Pressure
The medical field is too complex to learn. The lack of case studies may make the course even more rigorous and challenging to pursue. The introduction of simulators in the medical field has revolutionized learning and made the course simpler for the students.
In short, the medical simulators make for the deprivation of case studies and facilitate the students with the academic help they need.
A blood pressure analyzer, for example, is one such wonder of modern technology. It helps a student get a blood simulator with real lifelike measures.
Here are some benefits of getting a blood pressure simulator.
1- It gives you exact readings like a real-life patient
Checking the blood pressure is not a rare finding like a rare disease. The teacher himself or herself, can become the subject for the students. However, getting different readings for the students to learn better the topic may not be that easy.
An OX 2 will provide you with the patient simulator in which you can even adjust the output readings of the device. This way, you can make up for the lack of patients.
2- It is a reliable device
One of the best things about a blood pressure analyzer is that it is a reliable device. Using it, you can make sure that you have the right outputs of the readings as you program it. With the precise outputs, you can rest assured that you get the correct readings and help your students in education.
3- It is a multifaceted device
4- It is a non-invasive method of testing
What Is High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is blood pressure that is higher than normal. Your blood pressure changes throughout the day based on your activities. Having blood pressure measures consistently above normal may result in a diagnosis of high blood pressure .
The higher your blood pressure levels, the more risk you have for other health problems, such as heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
Your health care team can diagnose high blood pressure and make treatment decisions by reviewing your systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels and comparing them to levels found in certain guidelines.
The guidelines used to diagnose high blood pressure may differ from health care professional to health care professional:
- Some health care professionals diagnose patients with high blood pressure if their blood pressure is consistently 140/90 mm Hg or higher.2 This limit is based on a guideline released in 2003, as seen in the table below.
- Other health care professionals diagnose patients with high blood pressure if their blood pressure is consistently 130/80 mm Hg or higher.1 This limit is based on a guideline released in 2017, as seen in the table below.
|systolic: 130 mm Hg or higherdiastolic: 80 mm Hg or higher|
If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, talk with your health care team about your blood pressure levels and how these levels affect your treatment plan.
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What Can I Do To Prevent Or Manage High Blood Pressure
Many people with high blood pressure can lower their blood pressure into a healthy range or keep their numbers in a healthy range by making lifestyle changes. Talk with your health care team about
- Getting at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week
- Not smoking
- Managing stress
Learn more about ways to manage and prevent high blood pressure.
In addition to making positive lifestyle changes, some people with high blood pressure need to take medicine to manage their blood pressure. Learn more about medicines for high blood pressure.
Talk with your health care team right away if you think you have high blood pressure or if youve been told you have high blood pressure but do not have it under control.
High Blood Pressure: The First Number Vs The Second Number
Oct. 1, 1999 — 120/95. 190/80. 180/110. Many patients have wondered, when they get their blood pressure taken, which is the most important number: the first, higher number , or the second, lower number ? A recent study showed that the systolic number is at least as important as the diastolic number, a finding which is somewhat contrary to traditional belief. To get the word out, the National High Blood Pressure Education Program, coordinated by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute , will be issuing, later this fall, a clinical advisory letter to U.S. health professionals warning of the danger of not properly treating high systolic blood pressure.
The systolic reading measures pressure in the blood vessels during that split-second when the heart is pumping out blood the diastolic reading measures pressure when the heart is at rest. Up until recently, many in the medical community have emphasized the diastolic reading, but an accumulation of recent findings shows that the systolic reading is as — if not more — important in diagnosing and treating high blood pressure, or hypertension.
Patients are classified into blood pressure stages depending on their reading and treated accordingly. The stages, as outlined by the sixth Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure , range from normal and high normal to stage 1, 2, 3 hypertension. The guidelines were updated in 1997.
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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.
Get Regular Blood Pressure Checks
If your blood pressure is in the healthy range and you have no other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and no personal or family history of high blood pressure, it is still important to have a check at least every two years. Your doctor can also check your blood pressure during routine visits.
If your blood pressure is highnormal , or if you have other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as a personal or family history of high blood pressure, stroke or heart attack, it is best to have it checked more frequently such as every 6 to 12 months or as directed by your doctor. Ask your doctor for advice.
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When To Call Your Doctor
A hypertensive crisisdefined as blood pressure above 180/120 mm Hgrequires immediate medical attention. Call 911 if you are also experiencing symptoms such as chest pain, back pain, shortness of breath, difficulty speaking, a change in vision, weakness, or numbness.
Can High Blood Pressure Affect Pregnancy
High blood pressure complicates about 10% of all pregnancies. There are several different types of high blood pressure during pregnancy and range from mild to serious. The forms of high blood pressure during pregnancy include:
Chronic hypertension: High blood pressure which is present prior to pregnancy.
Chronic hypertension with superimposed preeclampsia: Preeclampsia, which develops in someone who has chronic hypertension .
Gestational hypertension: High blood pressure in the latter part of pregnancy, but no other signs or symptoms of preeclampsia are present. Some women will later develop preeclampsia, while others probably have high blood pressure before the pregnancy.
Preeclampsia: This is found in the latter half of pregnancy and results in hypertension, protein in the urine and generalized swelling in the mother. It can affect other organs in the body and cause seizures .
Your blood pressure will be checked regularly during prenatal appointments, but if you have concerns about your blood pressure, be sure to talk with your provider.
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What If Just The First Blood Pressure Number Is High
For older people, often the first number is 130 or higher, but the second number is less than 80. This problem is called isolated systolic hypertension, which is due to age-related stiffening of the major arteries. It is the most common form of high blood pressure in older people and can lead to serious health problems in addition to shortness of breath during light physical activity, lightheadedness upon standing too fast, and falls. Isolated systolic hypertension is treated in the same way as regular high blood pressure but may require more than one type of blood pressure medication. If your doctor determines that your systolic pressure is above a normal level for your age, ask how you can lower it.
How Can You Reduce Your Risk Of High Blood Pressure
Fortunately, there are certain things you can do to help reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure. These include the following:
- Eat right: A healthy diet is an important step in keeping your blood pressure normal. The DASH diet emphasizes adding fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to your diet while reducing the amount of sodium. Since it is rich in fruits and vegetables, which are naturally lower in sodium than many other foods, the DASH diet makes it easier to eat less salt and sodium.
- Keep a healthy weight: Going hand-in-hand with a proper diet is keeping a healthy weight. Since being overweight increases your blood pressure, losing excess weight with diet and exercise will help lower your blood pressure to healthier levels.
- Cut down on salt: The recommendation for salt in your diet is to have less than 2,400 milligrams of sodium a day . To prevent hypertension, you should keep your salt intake below this level. Don’t forget that most restaurant foods and many processed and frozen foods contain high levels of salt. Use herbs and spices that do not contain salt in recipes to flavor your food do not add salt at the table.
- Keep active: Even simple physical activities, such as walking, can lower your blood pressure .
- Drinkalcoholin moderation: Having more than one drink a day and two drinks a day can raise blood pressure.
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When To Get Blood Pressure Readings
A normal person who has never has high blood pressure does not require regular readings beyond their yearly check-ups, Kazemi said. Patients with a history of hypertension should be checked more frequently. Talk to your doctor about how often you should have your blood pressure checked, and follow that schedule closely.
What Are The Risk Factors For Hypertension
While the exact causes of HBP remain a mystery in most cases, risk factors are much easier to identify. Fortunately, most of them are within your power to controlwhich means your hearts destiny may lie largely in your own hands. They include:
If youre overweight or obese, your body requires your heart to pump more blood to supply it with oxygen and other essential nutrients. This extra work adds to the pressure on the walls of your blood vessels.
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Normal Diastolic Blood Pressure
What is the normal range of diastolic pressure for adults? A normal range of diastolic blood pressure for adults is 60 mmHg to 79 mmHg.
If diastolic is less than 80 mmHg and systolic is less than 120 mmHg, a doctor will typically suggest the following:
- Follow a heart healthy diet.
- Engage in regular physical activity.
- Continue avoiding unhealthy habits like excess alcohol or smoking.
- Monitor blood pressure readings.
- Attend regular physicals.
Why Diastolic Blood Pressure Is Important
Typically, for people over 50, more attention is directed to the higher number, systolic blood pressure, as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease 4. Therefore, why is diastolic pressure important?
Diastolic pressure is important because an elevated diastolic pressure may be used to make a diagnosis of high blood pressure. In addition, elevated diastolic pressure means there is an increased risk of developing elevated systolic blood pressure as a person ages.
Recent studies have researched people ranging from 40 to 89 years of age. They found for each 10 mmHg diastolic number increase in blood pressure, the risk of death from ischemic heart disease and stroke doubles.
Ischemic heart disease is a term given to heart problems that are caused by narrowed heart arteries.
On the other hand, if diastolic blood pressure is too low, meaning coronary arteries arent getting enough blood pressure, the heart is going to lack oxygen and blood. This is called ischemia and may weaken the heart over time which can lead to heart failure.
The coronary arteries which surround the aortic valve in the heart only get blood when the aortic valve closes, and this happens in diastole 5.
What is diastole? Diastole is the part of the cardiac cycle when the heart is relaxed between beats and refills with blood.
Diastolic blood pressure is measured at the moment diastole is occurring 6.
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What Causes High Blood Pressure In The First Place
If you have HBP, youre hardly alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , nearly half of all adults in the U.S. have hypertension or take a medication to manage it. Only one-quarter of them have it under control.
Your doctor most likely wont be able to pinpoint the reason why you have HBP. Thats because as many as 95% of HBP cases have no known cause. If you fall into this vast category, you have whats known as primary hypertension. Among the much, much smaller number of people who do have a known cause, their HBP is known as secondary high blood pressure because its caused by an underlying, or already present, health condition.
These underlying secondary causes include:
What Does High Blood Pressure Feel Like
High blood pressure often doesn’t have any symptoms, so you usually don’t feel it.
Hypertension is usually diagnosed by a health care professional during a routine checkup. The average person should get a blood pressure reading at least once a year. As a cardiologist, I think its important for everyone to know their numbers. That means knowing what your blood pressure is. And it also means knowing your blood sugar level, cholesterol and body mass index. When you know your numbers, you can work with your doctor to make a plan to reduce any risks.
Blood pressure is even more important to pay attention to, though, if you have a close relative with hypertension or other risk factors. And know that if your blood pressure is extremely high, you may have unusually severe headaches, chest pain, difficulty breathing or get easily worn out by workouts. If you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor right away.
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Medicines For High Blood Pressure
|Why are different people given different medicines?|
People respond differently to blood pressure medicines. A number of things can affect how you respond to each medicine, including your ethnic background, age and how much salt you eat. It can take some trial and error to find the medicine or combination of medicines that works best for you.
Younger, non-black people tend to respond slightly better to ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers. Older people and those of African or Caribbean origin tend to respond better to calcium-channel blockers and thiazide diuretics.
These will usually be the first medicines youre offered, aiming to keep the number of medicines needed to a minimum. Read more about finding the right medicines for you.
|Should I be taking aspirin as well?|
If you have high blood pressure, your doctor might recommend that you take aspirin if you are at a higher risk of heart attacks or strokes, for example, if you have had an ischaemic stroke caused by a blood clot or heart attack in the past. This is because aspirin thins your blood and prevents blood clots from forming.
Do not start taking aspirin regularly unless your doctor advsises you to because aspirin’s ability to prevent clots can raise the risk of bleeding from the stomach and intestines, it might also be linked to a higher risk of strokes caused by burst blood vessels.