24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
(800)421-8825
Fax: (361)578-5500

Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
Vaping Constricts Blood Vessels, Raising Heart, Lung ConcernsWhen Does Heart Health Return to Normal After Quitting Smoking?New Antibiotic Approved for Community-Acquired Bacterial PneumoniaImplant Approved to Improve Symptoms in Advanced Heart Failure'No Quick Fix' for A-Fib, But Cardiologist Says You Can Help Prevent ItAHA News: Why Do Women Get Statins Less Frequently Than Men?'Dr. Google' Helps Some Patients Diagnose a Rare DiseaseHealth Tip: Recognizing a Staph InfectionIs Dairy Fat Different?CDC Recommends Catch-Up HPV Vaccination for Young AdultsHow to Relieve Dry, Irritated EyesPretomanid Approved for Treatment of Drug-Resistant TBAHA News: Tiring Easily May Warn of Future Heart TroubleAmerica's Obesity Epidemic May Mean Some Cancers Are Striking SoonerHeavy Smog as Bad as Pack-a-Day Smoking for LungsConcussed NFL Players Sidelined for Much Longer NowadaysHormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer Might Harm the Heart: StudyObesity and 'Spare Tire' Raise Hispanics' Odds for Early DeathAHA News: Protein Made During Long Workouts May Warn of Heart ProblemsHow to Help Your Heart Weather Extreme HeatHealth Threats Don't End for Some Sepsis SurvivorsHeat Waves Brought by Climate Change Could Prove Deadly for Kidney PatientsHealth Tip: Avoiding AnemiaAre You Still Putting Off Colon Cancer Screening?Tips for Preventing DiverticulitisFDA Reports More Seizures Among VapersKids Getting Too Many Opioids After TonsillectomyCan Major Surgeries Cause a Long-Term 'Brain Drain'?How Much Coffee Is Too Much for Migraine Sufferers?Steady Stream of Lesser Head Hits in Football Can Still Damage BrainDon't Sweat It: Hyperhydrosis Can Be TreatedFast-Food Joints on Your Way to Work? Your Waistline May WidenAdults Need Vaccines, TooHealth Tip: Managing Arthritis of the Hands'Selfies' Might Someday Track Your Blood PressureIn Heat Waves, Fans May Do More Harm Than GoodSmoking Creates Long-Lasting Risk for Clogged Leg ArteriesFootball Head Trauma Linked Again to Long-Term Brain DamageDrug Approved to Treat Tenosynovial Giant Cell TumorRugby-Style Tackling Might Make Football SaferFor Kids With Asthma, Allergies, New School Year Can Bring Flare-UpsFrailty Not a Normal Part of AgingAHA News: Hurricane Checklist: Batteries, Bottled Water – And A Plan for Heart CareDangerous Sesame Allergy Affects Many AmericansScorching Pavement Sends Some to the ER With BurnsHealth Tip: Living With Hypoglycemia3-D Printers Might Someday Make Replacement HeartsCDC Renews Pledge to Fight Ebola Outbreak in AfricaAnemia Linked to Higher Odds for Dementia in SeniorsDrug Duo May Be an Advance Against a Common Leukemia
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

Diabetes

Rethinking Blood Pressure Readings

HealthDay News
by By Len Canter
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Feb 5th 2019

new article illustration

TUESDAY, Feb. 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- "140/90" had long been the line in the sand for getting high blood pressure under control. But in 2017, leading medical organizations lowered the definitions of normal, elevated and high blood pressure with the idea that starting treatment at lower "high" levels can better reduce heart attacks and strokes.

This dramatically added to the number of people diagnosed with high blood pressure and redefined goals for those with the condition.

Blood Pressure by the Numbers:

  • Normal: Less than 120/80 mm Hg on both numbers. (The top number is the systolic pressure, which measures pressure when your heart beats; the bottom number is the diastolic pressure, which is when your heart is at rest, between beats.)
  • Elevated: A systolic reading of 120-129 and a diastolic reading of less than 80 mm Hg.
  • High blood pressure stage 1: A systolic reading of 130-139 or a diastolic reading of 80-89 mm Hg.
  • High blood pressure stage 2: A systolic reading of 140 or higher, or a diastolic reading of 90 or higher mm Hg.
  • Crisis level needing immediate attention: A systolic reading above 180 and/or a diastolic reading above 120 mm Hg.

As part of the new guidelines, the target measurement for high blood pressure patients with existing heart disease was trimmed to less than 130/80 mm Hg. That guideline also applies to people with a 10 percent or higher risk of developing heart disease over 10 years. For these people, medication is now typically given to achieve the goal.

For adults with stage 1 hypertension whose estimated 10-year heart disease risk is less than 10 percent, bringing the numbers down to 130/80 is desired.

Lifestyle changes are their first line of treatment, with re-evaluation within six months. Habits that can lower blood pressure include losing weight, exercise, limiting alcohol and salt, and following a diet such as DASH, which emphasizes portion size and prioritizes vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products.

Since just walking into the doctor's office can temporarily elevate blood pressure for some, home monitoring is recommended. Also, some doctors don't follow exact guidelines for taking patients' blood pressure in the office setting, which includes two readings two minutes apart.

More information

To learn about your risk for future heart events based on blood pressure and other health indicators, check out the American College of Cardiology risk estimator online.