HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE OR LOW BLOOD PRESSURE?

People know they should find time to check their blood pressure (BP), but many do not know what the right values should be.

The blood pressure is more like the pressure in the aorta and large arteries (vessels carrying blood), like the brachial artery, which is the one at your elbow and is used for BP measurement.

The instrument used is A SPHYGMOMANOMETER .

 

Blood pressure is reported as SYSTOLIC / DIASTOLIC in mmHg (millimeter of mercury).

The systolic is the pressure when the heart contracts, and the diastolic is the pressure when the heart is “filling up“.

Some people on BP medication check randomly and are often advised by certain “counselors” who are usually not medical practitioners, to discontinue their medications once a certain value is attained. Often times, these patients, without knowing,  even need to continue these medications so that the blood pressure is maintained at a normal level. I recommend you rather take sensitive instructions as this from your doctor.

  • I would not go into the details of hypertension here now because that is a major topic on its own, so I would reserve it for another time.

However, I would just state here what the values of your blood pressure should look like at certain given time.

It is important to note that the systemic blood pressure rises with age, and so does the risk of developing a heart attack, stroke, heart failure, among other things. Hence the need to have your blood pressure checked;  also because hypertension does not show symptoms until complications set in.

 

So let us cut to the chase.

The systolic is the upper, and diastolic is the lower as earlier stated.

Optimal : <120/80 mmHg

Normal : <130/85mmHg

High Normal : 130- 139/85-89mmHg

Mild hypertension: 140- 159/ 90-99mmHg

Moderate : 160- 179/ 100-109mmHg

Severe : ≥ 180/110mmHg

Isolated systolic hypertension:

  • Grade 1 : 140-159/ <90 mmHg
  • Grade 2 : ≥160/ <90 mmHg

 

If you are on antihypertensive medications, according to the British hypertension society guidelines, optimal target blood pressure values are:

Clinic measurements:

  • No diabetes <140/85 mmHg
  • With Diabetes <130/80 mmHg

Mean day time ambulatory or home measurement :

  • No diabetes <130/80 mmHg
  • With Diabetes <130/75 mmHg

 

Usually, these values would be achieved over a period of time (up to 3 months) except in some severe cases( hypertensive emergencies)  where the blood pressure has to be brought low over a short time. However , if you are in doubt that your medications are effective, you would need to have your physician review them.

The next time you check your BP, ensure you ask for the value so that you would know to what category you belong.

Got questions? Consult DoctorKK right here.

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