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Written by: Amy Jade
Normal blood pressure is considered <120/80. For individuals with normal blood pressure, we recommend reassessing every year.
Elevated blood pressure is considered 120–129/80. This is a Class 1 indication for lifestyle modification! For individuals with elevated blood pressure, we recommend reassessing in 3–6 months.
️ In patients with Stage 1 Hypertension (systolic blood pressure 130–139 OR a diastolic blood pressure of 80–89) but without clinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, this is a Class 1 indication for lifestyle modification, and the patient can wait on starting meds for 1 month and attempt to improve their blood pressure with dietary modification, exercise, and smoking cessation. For individuals with Stage 1 Hypertension, we recommend reassessing in 1 month.
Stage 2 Hypertension is considered with systolic blood pressure>140 OR a diastolic blood pressure >90. This is a Class 1 indication for both lifestyle modification and blood pressure lowering medication. For individuals with Stage 2 Hypertension, we recommend reassessing in 1 month.
Knowing your numbers can be the reason why you detect abnormal blood pressure and save your life.
Why is knowing about blood pressure so important?
Because there is a continuous association between higher blood pressure and increased cardiovascular disease risk. The 2017 ACC/AHA/ABC guideline for prevention, detection, evaluation & management of high blood pressure in adults outlines how we diagnose high blood pressure, as well as our treatment algorithm. This is based on extensive robust data, including well done randomized controlled trials, but also includes registries, nonrandomized comparative & descriptive studies, case series, cohort studies, systematic reviews & expert opinion.
2. Validate your cuff at your doctor's office or a pharmacy. Bring your cuff with you to your doctor's office, or a pharmacy (CVS has free BP readings available!) and make sure that yourreadings match up.
3. Get an automated cuff that stores your readings (or transmits results to yourphone via Bluetooth)
4. Cuff size: make sure you have the right fit!
Avoid smoking, caffeine, or exercise 30 min before, and have at least 5 minutes of rest right
Back straight and supported.
Feet flat on the floor and legs uncrossed.
Keep your arm supported on a flat surface, upper arm at heart level!
Bottom of the cuff should be right above the bend of the elbow.
Take at least 2 readings, 1 min apart in the am (before meds) and at night before dinner.
Ideally we want patients to measure and record their BP daily (sometimes twice a day!)
This really helps us tailor your blood pressure treatment, more accurately and reliably.
This ALSO helps us sort out different diagnoses: whether you have true sustained
hypertension, masked hypertension, or white coat hypertension.