Factors to understand about blood pressure readings

The measurement of the blood pressure is an important bio-medical record that can help in monitoring an individual’s health status and also prevent unforeseen complications. A regular monitoring of the blood pressure is considered essential especially in those above 40 years of age, more so if they have a history of cardiac health issues.

Several questions are commonly asked by people with regards to blood pressure readings. Here are some questions with their answers:

What is considered a dangerous blood pressure reading?

Ideally, a blood pressure reading of 120/80 mm Hg is considered to be normal. However, people who are hypertensive and are on medication, the individual attending physician would make a call on what is the optimum blood pressure reading for that individual given his/her age, lifestyle, medical history and so on. As a rule, a blood pressure reading that is higher than 140/90 mm Hg is likely to be a cause for concern. In comparison, low blood pressure readings may not necessarily be dangerous unless there are specific symptoms such as giddiness or fatigue. Sudden fluctuations in blood pressure readings may also cause various complicated and fatal issues.

Which blood pressure reading is more important – systolic or diastolic?

Systolic blood pressure readings measure the force with which the blood flows against the walls of the arteries. Diastolic pressure measures the blood pressure the interim gap between two heartbeats. Both blood pressure readings are considered essential. The blood pressure reading is written as systolic over diastolic. If the diastolic reading is high, it indicates that the heart is hyperactive than it should in its resting phase between two heartbeats. The smaller the difference in pulse pressure, the readings are better.

What happens when the systolic reading is high, but the diastolic reading is low?

This could indicate a condition known as isolated systolic hypertension which can commonly affect senior citizens. Such a form of hypertension could be caused by hyperthyroidism, heart valve problems or as a consequence of long-term diabetes.

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