Understanding Blood Pressure Readings
Everyone would like to have healthy blood pressure. But what does that actually mean? It is critical to comprehend your blood pressure reading. Here’s what you should know.
What do the blood pressure numbers mean?
Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). There are 2 figures:
- Systolic pressure – the first number, indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls when the heart beats.
- Diastolic pressure – the first number, indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls while the heart is resting between beats.
For example, a number of 110/70mmHg means that the systolic pressure is 110, and the diastolic pressure is 70.
Which number is more significant?
In general, systolic blood pressure (the first number) is regarded as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease in people over the age of 50.
An elevated systolic or diastolic blood pressure reading, on the other hand, can be used to make a diagnosis of high blood pressure. According to the American Heart Association, every 20 mm Hg systolic or 10 mm Hg diastolic increase in blood pressure doubles the risk of death from ischemic heart disease and stroke.
Blood Pressure Ranges
Blood pressure levels are classified into five categories, ranging from normal to hypertensive crisis. Your blood pressure level determines the type of treatment you may require.
A normal blood pressure reading has a top number (systolic pressure) between 90 and less than 120 and a bottom number (diastolic pressure) between 60 and less than 80.
If your results fall into this category, stick to heart-healthy habits like eating a well-balanced diet and exercising regularly.
When your readings are consistently between 120 and 129 systolic and less than 80 mm Hg diastolic, it means you have elevated blood pressure.
People who have elevated blood pressure are more likely to develop high blood pressure unless they take steps to control the condition.
Medication is not required for high blood pressure. However, this is the time to adopt a healthier lifestyle. A healthy diet and regular exercise can help lower your blood pressure to a healthy level and prevent high blood pressure from progressing to full-blown hypertension.
Hypertension: Stage 1
When blood pressure consistently ranges from 130-139 systolic or 80-89 mm Hg diastolic, it means you have stage 1 hypertension.
At this stage, doctors are likely to advise you on lifestyle changes and may recommend blood pressure medication based on your risk of certain diseases such as heart attack or stroke.
Hypertension: Stage 2
If your blood pressure reading shows a top number of 140 or more or a bottom number of 90 or more, it’s considered stage 2 hypertension.
At this stage, doctors are likely to prescribe a combination of blood pressure medications for keeping your blood pressure under control. Changes in lifestyle are just as important in stage 2 as they are in the other stages.
If your blood pressure readings suddenly exceed 180/120 mm Hg, wait five minutes and then test your blood pressure again. If your readings are still unusually high, contact your doctor immediately. Blood pressure in this range requires urgent treatment even if there are no accompanying symptoms
How to take an accurate blood pressure reading at home
Don’t smoke, drink caffeinated beverages, or exercise within 30 minutes before measuring your blood pressure.
Don’t take the measurement over clothes.
Sit up straight and with your back supported (on a dining chair, rather than a sofa).
Your legs should not be crossed and your feet should be flat on the floor.
Your upper arm should be at heart level and supported on a flat surface (such as a table).
Make sure the bottom of the cuff is directly above the elbow bend.
During the measurement, do not speak.
Every day, take your measurements at the same time. It is critical to take the readings at the same time every day, such as in the morning and evening.
Monitoring your blood pressure over MaNaDr app
Blood pressure monitors from OMRON are considered to be some of the most accurate blood pressure machines available. It provides simple, reliable, and accurate blood pressure measurement at the touch of a button
MaNaDr is an official distributor of OMRON blood pressure monitors. Connect it to the MaNaDr app and select your trusted doctor to monitor your health.
You will receive a subscription package to a Hypertension Management Program that includes the following benefits:
- Sync the OMRON blood monitor record to your MaNaDr app account.
- Received a health alert for any abnormal blood pressure levels.
- A trusted doctor will remotely monitor your blood pressure readings. If necessary, you can also request a teleconsultation with your doctor.
- Management of your blood pressure readings without the use of paper
Download ManaDr for patients at:
Reference: Harvard Health Publishing: Reading the new blood pressure guidelines
The American Heart Association: Understanding blood pressure readings, Monitoring your blood pressure at home