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heart
blood pressure monitors
american heart association
blood pressure numbers
bank account balance
first clue
mm hg
high blood pressure
adult age
Health For Your Heart's Content
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Health for Your Heart\'s Content

Modern society allows us to keep minute to minute information on any number we desire: our bank account balance, the latest stock market data, breaking election numbers. How many of us are quite intimate with the balance in our checking account but lacking information about our blood pressure numbers? As the old saying goes, you cannot take it with you, so why not stay healthy and spend it while you are here. Managing your blood pressure numbers increase the likelihood that you will be able to enjoy a long and healthy life.

A content heart is one that is operating in stress-free conditions. The first clue to unravel is what is your blood pressure number? The American Heart Association provides the range for us to compare our readings to in order to ascertain if it is within normal range:

  1. Normal is any reading that is less than 120/80 mm Hg (less than 120 systolic AND less than 80 diastolic) for an adult age 20 or older
  2. If your numbers do not fit within normal the next category is Prehypertension. The range for this is 120-139 for the top (systolic) and 80-89 for the bottom (diastolic)
  3. If your numbers are even higher you may have Stage 1 Hypertension. The range for this is 140-159 for the top (systolic) and 90-99 for the bottom (diastolic)
  4. If your numbers top this you may have Stage 2 Hypertension. The range for this is 160 or higher for the top (systolic) and higher than 100 for the bottom (diastolic)
  5. Higher than these numbers necessitates an emergency and is actually called Hypertensive Crisis. Specifically if your top number is higher than 180 and your bottom number is higher than 110.

If you did a double take when you found out your numbers remember high blood pressure is not diagnosed on one reading. You work in tandem with your healthcare provider as you both take readings and drill down to what your blood pressure is consistently reading.

Modern blood pressure monitors are mostly a two step operation: put the cuff on your arm and push a button, the machine does the rest. Follow the advice of The American Heart Association:

  • Avoid wrist or finger monitors as they have been found to yield less reliable numbers.
  • Choose a cuff that indicates it is clinically validated; it should be on the packaging. This means it has been tested to determine accuracy. The number will mean nothing to you if it is not valid.
  • Size matters. If you have a large or small arm you should not use the standard cuff or you will not have an accurate reading. Most manufacturers have large and small cuffs to fit the machines.

Your blood pressure is a powerful number. Respect it, keep it as close to you as your checking account balance. Take your health to heart, set it free from the pressure. A content heart is a happy heart!


Street Talk

Ken Asti  

Thanks for making me realize that I need to pay attention to this number, it is pretty easy to understand based on your recommendations

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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