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What do my blood pressure readings indicate?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1991
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Question
What if blood pressure reads 150/ 74. What does this mean?
Tue, 17 Apr 2018 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
 
 
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Elevated systolic blood pressure.

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

The systolic reading of 150 is too high. Ideally it should be kept around 120 mm Hg or less. The lower number, which is the diastolic blood pressure, is fine at 74 (should be around 80 or slightly less).

Many things can cause a temporarily elevated blood pressure including emotional stress or physical activity. If this blood pressure was taken when you entered the exam room at the doctor's office and you were nervous or just had rushed in, then it should be retaken at the end of the visit. Even drinking or eating a lot of caffeine can raise the blood pressure. Alcohol can elevate blood pressure too.

If you have 3 blood pressures that are elevated like this, and they are not related to a temporary event like I described above, then you and your doctor should talk about treatment options. I see that you are 19 yrs old, and it would be unusual to have persistently elevated blood pressures at your age (although it can happen). And so it would be best to talk with your doctor about lifestyle changes that might help to lower the blood pressure too.

I hope this information helps. Please let me know if I can provide further information.
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