Here is something which all of us adults should know. Before coming across the article by Blood Pressure UK I thought top number 160 in blood pressure was normal. But I was wrong. This number was an indication of high blood pressure .
Blood pressure chart
Use the blood pressure chart below to see what your blood pressure means. The blood pressure chart is suitable for adults of any age. (The level for high blood pressure does not change with age.)
Blood pressure readings have two numbers, for example 140/90mmHg.
The top number is your systolic blood pressure. (The highest pressure when your heart beats and pushes the blood round your body.) The bottom one is your diastolic blood pressure. (The lowest pressure when your heart relaxes between beats.)
The blood pressure chart below shows ranges of high, low and healthy blood pressure readings.
Blood pressure chart for adults
Using this blood pressure chart: To work out what your blood pressure readings mean, just find your top number (systolic) on the left side of the blood pressure chart and read across, and your bottom number (diastolic) on the bottom of the blood pressure chart. Where the two meet is your blood pressure.
What is normal blood pressure?
Ideally, we should all have a blood pressure below 120 over 80 (120/80). This is the ideal blood pressure for people wishing to have good health. At this level, we have a much lower risk of heart disease or stroke.
If your blood pressure is optimal, this is great news. By following our
healthy living advice, you will be able to keep it this way.
If your blood pressure is above 120/80mmHg, you will need to lower it.
Most adults in the UK have blood pressure readings in the range from 120 over 80 (120/80) to 140 over 90 (140/90). If your blood pressure is within this range, you should be taking steps to bring it down or to stop it rising any further. Our five top tips will show you how.
The reason why people with blood pressure readings in this range should lower it, even though this is not classified as 'high' blood pressure, is that the higher your blood pressure, the higher your risk of health problems. For example, someone with a blood pressure level of 135 over 85 (135/85) is twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke as someone with a reading of 115 over 75 (115/75).
What is high blood pressure?
You probably have high blood pressure (hypertension) if your blood pressure readings are consistently 140 over 90, or higher, over a number of weeks.
You may also have high blood pressure if just one of the numbers is
higher than it should be over a number of weeks.
If you have high blood pressure, this higher pressure puts extra strain on your heart and blood vessels. Over time, this extra strain increases your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
High blood pressure can also cause heart and kidney disease, and is closely linked to some forms of dementia.
You can check your blood pressure on our Blood Pressure Chart.
What are the signs and symptoms of high blood pressure?
High blood pressure usually has no signs or symptoms, so the only way to know
if you have high blood pressure is to have yours measured. However, a single
high reading does not necessarily mean you have high blood pressure. Many things
can affect your blood pressure through the day, so your doctor will take a
number of blood pressure readings to see that it stays high over time.
Occasionally people with very high blood pressure say they experience headaches, but it is best to visit your GP if you are concerned about symptoms.
What causes high blood pressure?
For most people, there may be no single cause for their high blood pressure. We do not know exactly what causes high blood pressure. We do know that your lifestyle can affect your risk of developing it. You are at a higher risk if:
∑you eat too much salt;
∑you donít eat enough fruit and vegetables;
∑you are not active enough;
∑you are overweight; or
∑you drink too much alcohol.
You can help to lower your blood pressure - and your risk of stroke and heart attack - by making lifestyle changes.
Additional causes of high blood pressure
There are some factors that increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, which you cannot control. These include:
∑Age: as you get older, the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle can build up and your blood pressure can increase.
∑Ethnic origin: people from African-Caribbean and South Asian communities are at greater risk than other people of high blood pressure.
∑Family history: you are at greater risk if other members of your family have, or have had, high blood pressure.
Some people may have high blood pressure that is linked to another medical condition, such as kidney problems. For these people treating the medical problem may lower their blood pressure back to normal.
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