Written by KURA Writer- Rylee Nelson
High blood pressure is a common health condition many people live with, and some may not even know they have it. High blood pressure can occur in younger people, but the risk increases after age 45 (Jaret, 2021). It can be dangerous if high blood pressure is left untreated, so it’s important to understand what it is and why you should regularly monitor it along with living a healthy lifestyle.
Two numbers are reported on a blood pressure reading; the first is systolic, the higher number, and the second is diastolic, which is the smaller number. Both numbers are measured as the force of blood against the artery walls. Systolic is the pressure as the heart pumps blood to the rest of the body, and diastolic is the pressure as the heart rests and fills back up with blood (McDermott, 2019).
In the image above, the meter says the person’s blood pressure is 152/73. 152 is the systolic number, and 73 is the diastolic number. The high blood pressure guideline for older adults is anything above 130/80 mm Hg (WebMD, 2023). If you get a reading over that range once, it’s not very concerning. However, if you consistently get high readings, you should discuss it with your healthcare provider. Your provider may have different guidelines for your blood pressure numbers based on your personal medical needs. Knowing your blood pressure and regularly monitoring it can allow you to detect any changes and help you receive the proper care and instructions from your doctor.
Jaret, P. (2021, September 17). High Blood Pressure. WebMD. Retrieved May 5, 2023, from https://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/guide/high-blood-pressure#:~:text=Typically%2C%20blood%20pressure%20increases%20with,blood%20pressure%20also%20increases%20risk.
McDermott, A. (2019, March 8). Diastole vs. systole: Guide to Blood Pressure. Healthline. Retrieved May 5, 2023, from https://www.healthline.com/health/diastole-vs-systole#TOC_TITLE_HDR_1
WebMD. (2023, April 7). What to Know About the New Normal Blood Pressure for Older Adults. WebMD. Retrieved May 5, 2023, from https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/what-to-know-about-new-normal-blood-pressure-for-older-adults