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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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My Blood Pressure ranges between 130/85 to 140/100. Is it alright?

My Blood Pressure ranges between 130/85 to 140/100. Is it alright , I am 45.? My Blood Pressure ranges between 130/85 to 140/100. Is it alright , I am 45.?
Thu, 17 Dec 2009
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Ideal is considered a number of 119/69 or lower. It is notable that your diastolic (the lower number) is higher than one would expect to see. For instance I would expect to see 140/85. There are a number of questions that I'd ask. First has your blood pressure meter ever been calibrated to a mercury sphygmanometer? I automatic blood pressure meters can be notoriously off by significant amounts. Assuming that the numbers are correct, and are the average of many readings over say, a month or two then yes they are too high. I would ask: Does anyone in your family have a history of heart disease? Mom, dad, Grandfather, Grandmother...? If so, then consider getting a lipid profile, for you may have hi lipid levels and could be slowly developing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries related to cholesterol deposition). This could be the cause of the relatively higher lower number, and would indicate that you need to address high lipids (blood fats like cholesterol) But please remember that hypertension is the "silent killer." It kills over long periods of time, and these numbers do not require intervention tomorrow, but they should be deal with say within the next several weeks or so. If you are overweight (search BMI calculator) lose weight. If you smoke, especially if you have a history of family heart disease it is imperative that you stop. Develop a cardio-vascular exercise program that is reasonable for you (seach target heart range calculator). Especially if you have hi lipids, exercise will increase the good lipids, while reducing the bad ones. Search for foods high in potassium such as cantalope. If you are black, hispanic or East Indian consider cutting back on sodium intake. Also consider your personality type, perhaps you are really wound up when you get the 140/100. Learn to relax, learn to meditate several times a day, take a yoga class. What does it mean if your agerage is say 140/90? It means that you have about a 100% increased risk of a heart attack, or cerebro-vascular incident (stroke) as compared to the theoretical "normal" person. This might mean for instance if a male at age 45 with "normal" BP has a risk of a heart attack that correlates to 12 per thousand per year, your risk is 100% higher so out of the group of 1000 of people with your numbers theoretically 24 will get a heart attack. You most likely still have plenty of time to "do what is necessary" Especially--stop smoking, lose weight, and exercise. See a doctor if you can, perhaps you can start some BP meds (many have little or no adverse effects) and then over the next five months work on lifestyle changes. Your BP will drop, you will feel better, and you will live a longer life. You are worth it. And the lifestyle changes may make any medication unnecessary over time. It did with me.
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