What You Should Know About A Blood Pressure Of 120/40
Low blood pressure rarely causes any severe symptoms, but some patients experience debilitating side effects. The recommended blood pressure reading for healthy adults is 90 over 60 mm Hg . Your blood pressure of 120/40 is below the recommended range and considered low blood pressure. Fainting episodes and dizzy spells are two common symptoms associated with dangerously low blood pressure or BP. This condition is known as hypotension and can have life-threatening consequences if left unchecked. Several health-related conditions and life events can cause BP levels to drop. In some cases, an underlying medical condition, surgical disorders, or dehydration might be responsible.
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.
When To Call Your Healthcare Provider
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.
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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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What Causes High Blood Pressure
The cause of high blood pressure, or hypertension, is often unknown. It develops over time and often happens as a result of unhealthy lifestyle choices, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
Occasionally, some people have hypertension caused by an underlying condition, such as kidney disease, adrenal gland tumors or thyroid disorders, says Dr. Wong. Other conditions like pregnancy, diabetes and obesity can also increase your risk.
Some people are susceptible to high blood pressure from certain medications, such as birth control pills, some decongestants and even some over-the-counter pain relievers, says Wong. Illicit drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines may also raise blood pressure.
High blood pressure is extremely common. A 2017 to 2018 survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics found 45.5% of U.S. adults have hypertensionOstchega Y, et al. Hypertension prevalence among adults aged 18 and over: United States, 2017-2018. National Center for Health Statistics. Accessed 7/16/2021. .
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How Blood Pressure Is Measured
A doctor or nurse will measure your blood pressure with a small gauge attached to an inflatable cuff. It’s simple and painless.
The person taking your blood pressure wraps the cuff around your upper arm. Some cuffs go around the forearm or wrist, but often they aren’t as accurate.
Your doctor or nurse will use a stethoscope to listen to the blood moving through your artery.
Theyâll inflate the cuff to a pressure higher than your systolic blood pressure, and it will tighten around your arm. Then theyâll release it. As the cuff deflates, the first sound they hear through the stethoscope is the systolic blood pressure. It sounds like a whooshing noise. The point where this noise goes away marks the diastolic blood pressure.
In a blood pressure reading, the systolic number always comes first, and then the diastolic number. For example, your numbers may be “120 over 80” or written as 120/80.
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.
What To Do If Your Blood Pressure Reading Is 121/70
A blood pressure reading of 121/70 could be interpreted as warning sign since its on the high side of normal.
People with pre-hypertension often develop hypertension, so having your blood pressure checked regularly is important.
As an aside, home blood pressure monitors are amazingly affordable and great way to stay on top of your blood pressure. So invest in your health and check out .
Already on blood pressure medicine? If so, this level of blood pressure may be considered adequate, especially if your systolic blood pressure is between 120 and 130.
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.
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Risks Of High Blood Pressure
If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your blood vessels, heart and other organs, such as the brain, kidneys and eyes.
Persistent high blood pressure can increase your risk of a number of serious and potentially life-threatening health conditions, such as:
- have a relative with high blood pressure
- are of black African or black Caribbean descent
- live in a deprived area
Making healthy lifestyle changes can sometimes help reduce your chances of getting high blood pressure and help lower your blood pressure if it’s already high.
What Are The Dangers Of High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is known as the silent killer. This means it does not have any symptoms and can go untreated for a long time, which can lead to many major health risks. If left untreated, a blood pressure of 180/120 or higher results in an 80% chance of death within one year, with an average survival rate of ten months. Prolonged, untreated high blood pressure can also lead to heart attack, stroke, blindness, and kidney disease.
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How To Measure Your Blood Pressure
Usually, before a doctors appointment, a nurse checks your blood pressure to make sure its not too low or too high. But you can also check your blood pressure readings at home.
You can use an inflatable cuff, similar to those used at your doctors office. Or you can use a digital blood pressure monitor with automatic cuff inflation.
Read the directions carefully when measuring your blood pressure at home, and follow the instructions that come with the product.
Also, keep in mind that certain factors may cause a temporary rise in your blood pressure. These factors include:
For a more accurate blood pressure reading:
- Take your blood pressure in a quiet location when youre calm and relaxed.
- Dont exercise, smoke, or drink caffeine for at least 30 minutes before measuring your blood pressure.
- Its best to vary the times of day that you take your pressure readings to see the range of your readings.
Do You Have High Blood Pressure What The Guidelines Say
Your blood pressure is an important part of your overall health.
But what is it? Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels. If it is too high, it can put a strain on your heart and blood vessels, and can lead to increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
Your blood pressure is measured using a device called a sphygmomanometer that cuff that goes around your arm. The measurement then indicates a unit of pressure known as millimeters of mercury . It shows how hard your heart is working to pump blood.
Your blood pressure is written as two numbers. The top number, known as the systolic pressure, measures the force of the blood against the artery walls when the heart contracts to pump blood out. It is working its hardest at that point.
The bottom number is the diastolic pressure, which shows the force of the blood when the heart is resting in between contractions. That number is lower.
Doctors use standard guidelines to determine if your blood pressure falls into a range known as normal. If it is too high and is consistently higher than the guidelines, it known as hypertension.
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Get With The Guidelines
In 2017, the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology and nine other health organizations published revised guidelines for blood pressure.
They were updated “because research suggested that you can have complications from high blood pressure at lower levels than previously thought,” says Laura Andromalos, RD, CDE, nutrition program manager at Northwest Weight and Wellness Center in Everett, Washington, and a certified diabetes educator coach in the telehealth setting for Cecelia Health. “Previously, adults over 65 years old were considered to have high blood pressure at levels over 150/80 mmHg.”
We now know that the ideal of 120/80 lowers the risks for both heart attacks and strokes, according to the American Heart Association. However, each person is unique, so at every age, it’s important to work with your doctor to be sure your numbers fall within a range that is ideal for you and your overall health, Dr. Vaishnava says.
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 tightens and then gradually loosens. 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 systolic pressure of 130 or higher, or a diastolic pressure of 80 or higher.
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Underlying Illnesses Or Conditions
If your GP suspects that a disorder – such as a heart condition, adrenal gland failure or a nerve condition – is causing your low blood pressure, you may be referred to hospital for further tests and treatment.
If adrenal gland failure is found to be causing your low blood pressure, your GP may prescribe fludrocortisone to replace the missing hormone, aldosterone. This will usually be in tablet form and will need to be taken for life.
If a nerve condition is causing your low blood pressure, it can be more difficult to treat. You may be prescribed medication in order to help stimulate your nervous system.
What Does It Mean If You Fall Into The New Guidelines
With these new guidelines, it is estimated that about 14 percent of people will now be classified as having hypertension many of those individuals may be younger. However, only a small percentage will require intervention by medication. Individuals who now fall into a hypertensive category will receive more aggressive prevention interventions, like lifestyle changes.
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What Is A Good Blood Pressure Target For Elders
Blood pressure often rises with age, but experts agree that lower numbers are better for overall health. Blood pressure is measured in two numbers: systolic and diastolic. The top number is the systolic blood pressure, which measures the pressure caused by the heart contracting and squeezing out blood. The bottom number is diastolic blood pressure, which measures the pressure when the heart relaxes and fills with blood.
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 .
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 Is The Average Blood Pressure For A 70 Year Old Man
There is an ongoing debate about how aggressively one should treat elevated high blood pressure in older adults, the fact that the pressure does not change with age and remains the same. For the healthy population, the blood pressure measurement is 120/80. While the top reading measures the systolic blood pressure, the bottom provides information about the diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure reading calculates the pressure when the heart is pumping blood, and diastolic reading offers the stress when the heart is at rest. When the numbers are lower, it indicates that the individual has lower chances of heart attacks or stroke.
Symptoms And Causes Of Low Blood Pressure
Many different conditions and situations can cause low blood pressure, from standing up too fast to being pregnant. Sometimes, low blood pressure is linked to an underlying problem. Thats why its important to see your doctor right away if you experience the signs of low blood pressure.
Symptoms of low blood pressure can include:
Low blood pressure can be a sign of serious heart, endocrine or neurological conditions. If left untreated, the brain and other vital organs do not get the oxygen and nutrients they need. In extreme cases, this can cause shock, a life-threatening condition.
If you show signs of low blood pressure, your doctor will conduct an exam and may perform tests to determine whats causing the condition. Low blood pressure can occur with many other conditions.
Some causes of low blood pressure are:
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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.