- Decoding High Blood Pressure an Introduction to Important Lifestyle Components
- Decoding High Blood Pressure – Understanding The Basics
- Decoding High Blood Pressure – Approach to measuring blood pressure
- Complications of Hypertension
- Making the Diagnosis of Hypertension: A Synopsis for Non-Medical Folks
- Hypertension Work-up: A Patient-Friendly Summary
High Blood Pressure: Decoding the Terms — The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) have outlined the following definitions related to blood pressure:
● Normal Blood Pressure — A systolic reading less than 120 mmHg combined with a diastolic reading less than 80 mmHg.
● Elevated Blood Pressure — A systolic reading between 120 and 129 mmHg with a diastolic reading less than 80 mmHg.
• Stage 1 — Systolic reading of between 130 and 139 mmHg or a diastolic reading of 80 to 89 mmHg.
• Stage 2 — Systolic reading of at least 140 mmHg or a diastolic reading of at least 90 mmHg.
If there is a discrepancy between the systolic and diastolic pressures, we categorize based on the higher value. For example if your diastolic number (the bottom number) is above 90 but your systolic (top number is 125, you are still considered to have high blood pressure.
Patients on medication for high blood pressure are usually classified as having “treated hypertension,” irrespective of their current readings.
The European definition of high blood pressure varies from the ACC/AHA definitions. The European Society of Cardiology and European Society of Hypertension (ESC/ESH) defines high blood pressure as a systolic reading of at least 140 mmHg or a diastolic reading of at least 90 mmHg in a clinical setting.
The above definitions are based on extensive studies and trials that have established the connection between blood pressure and the risk of heart diseases across large populations.
Diagnosing High Blood Pressure — Diagnosing hypertension involves gathering information from repeated blood pressure readings, both in and outside the clinic. It’s like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle, using different pieces (measurements) to get a complete picture (diagnosis).
Diagnosing With Alternative Readings — The combination of home or ambulatory blood pressure readings is crucial for diagnosing hypertension, while routine clinical measurements primarily serve as detection tools.
If repeated home readings yield an average of 130/80 mmHg or higher, hypertension may be confirmed.
White coat hypertension refers to blood pressure that is consistently high in the clinic but does not meet the criteria for hypertension when measured elsewhere. Masked hypertension, on the other hand, refers to blood pressure that is consistently high when measured outside the clinic but does not meet the criteria for hypertension when measured in the clinic.