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Healthy Blood Pressure by Age

Navigating and Maintaining Healthy Blood Pressure as you Age

Blood pressure is the pressure with which the heart pumps blood into the arteries that is transported to the rest of the body. The blood pressure readings include systolic pressure, the maximum blood pressure when the ventricles contract, and diastolic pressure, the minimum pressure recorded when the heart relaxes, just prior to the next contraction. One may witness varying blood pressure by age and gender.

Influence of Age on Blood Pressure

You will hear more cases of high blood pressure in older adults than in younger ones because the body’s blood vessel network, known as the vascular system, changes and becomes less elastic with age. The arteries carrying the blood rich in oxygen and nutrients from the heart to other body parts get stiffer, causing the blood pressure to elevate. Therefore, the influence of blood pressure varies from person to person.

Normal Blood Pressure Ranges by Age

The normal blood pressure is always read as 120/80 mmHg, which is the very foundation of classifying blood pressure levels. If you are wondering what the normal blood pressure by age is, take a look –

  • Low blood pressure or hypotension occurs when the systolic pressure is under 90 mmHg, and the diastolic pressure is lower than 60 mmHg. Individuals with low blood pressure may feel light-headed, nauseous, weak or exhausted, dizzy, have blurry vision, or even faint. This condition is often brought about by blood loss, dehydration, or medications.
  • Elevated blood pressure is identified through a systolic pressure between 120 and 129 mmHg and a diastolic pressure of less than 80 mmHg.
  • High blood pressure 1 is defined as a systolic pressure of 130 or higher and a diastole of 80 or higher.
  • Stage 2 of high blood pressure is when the systolic pressure is dangerously high, exceeding 140 mmHg, and the diastolic pressure is above 90 mmHg.
  • You reach a state of hypertension crisis when either the systolic pressure is higher than 180, or your diastolic pressure is higher than 120 mmHg.

When we talk about blood pressure by age, older adults often witness a rise in their systolic pressure while their diastolic pressure remains well below 80 mmHg. This condition is termed isolated systolic hypertension and can result in serious complications among the elderly population, causing shortness of breath during light activities or lightheadedness while standing up too fast.

Blood Pressure Chart for Different Age Groups

Take a look at the blood pressure chart by age:

Age Group Men Women
18-39 years 119/70 mmHg 110/68 mmHg
40-59 years 124/77 mmHg 122/74 mmHg
60+ years 133/69 mmHg 139/68 mmHg

 

 

High blood pressure, or hypertension, also commonly goes by the name of ‘the silent killer’ because its signs and symptoms are not easily identifiable.

  • In recent times, even adolescents have been diagnosed with hypertension. As young adults enter puberty, they undergo hormonal changes or physical development. Their lifestyle patterns also undergo changes in terms of leading a passive lifestyle and adopting a taste for junk food, which has increased the cases of obesity in them. Therefore, it is crucial to detect these patterns early on and take preventive measures to lower the risk of hypertension.
  • Middle-aged individuals observe a progressive increase in their blood pressure levels as their blood vessels alter with age. Therefore, following a strict, healthy routine, such as exercising, eating a balanced diet, measuring blood pressure levels regularly, and stress management, can enable them to lead a life without hypertension.
  • Due to the decreased elasticity of their artery walls, older adults are more prone to cardiovascular complications. Thus, it is necessary to tailor a treatment program that takes care of their health.

Significance of Understanding Normal Ranges

Understanding the normal blood pressure by age is essential to identify deviations that may indicate any underlying health concerns. When your blood pressure deviates from the standard readings, indicating potential cardiovascular issues, individuals can consult healthcare specialists in a timely manner and prompt an intervention before their health deteriorates.

Potential Concerns Related to Blood Pressure by Age

The aging process brings about changes in kidney function, which plays a crucial role in blood pressure regulation. If this chronic condition is not timely controlled, it can lead to –

  • Strokes
  • Heart attacks
  • Kidney disease
  • Vascular dementia
  • Eye problems
  • Peripheral arterial disease
  • Aortic aneurysms

No matter the age, your health is in your hands. Take precautions early on to mitigate hypertension and keep this chronic condition at bay. Discover more information with BP in Control’s online portal. Find expert physicians through our Find a Physician tool, ensuring early diagnosis and personalised intervention for health conditions.

FAQs

1. What lifestyle changes can help maintain healthy blood pressure at different ages?

Vital lifestyle modifications, if made on time and followed consistently, regardless of age, can help individuals maintain healthy blood pressure.

  • Resort to a Mediterranean or heart-healthy diet, a powerhouse of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and nutrients. Also, consume a diet low in sodium and sugar, and refrain from consuming caffeine, processed, refined, junk, fried, and fatty oily foods.
  • Stay physically active. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park your vehicle away from the office to get a few steps in. On some days, take the local transport and get off a few stations away from your destination so you can walk the rest of the way. While in the office, opt for a standing desk if that is feasible. Take a walk after every meal. Help in carrying out household chores or exercise while watching the television. Performing these activities can help one maintain their weight.
  • Getting 7-8 hours of peaceful sleep can also help individuals maintain normal blood pressure.
  • Routinely monitor your blood pressure levels, especially for individuals over 40 years of age.
  • Avoid smoking or drinking at all costs.

2. How often should individuals check their blood pressure based on age?

Young adults from the age of 18 or older with optimal blood pressure can take a blood pressure test once every 2-5 years. On the other hand, individuals who are 40 years of age or older should measure their blood pressure readings once every year.

3. What role does age play in the choice of blood pressure medications?

Age can determine the kind of blood pressure medications and dosages an individual requires. The physiological changes that occur with aging, along with the potential of other comorbidities or health conditions, primarily in older adults, such as diabetes, cholesterol, arthritis, or cardiovascular diseases, can also impact how your body responds to certain medications. Several medications may also have side effects, which may be more pronounced or problematic in adults.

 

Sources –

  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/what-is-the-average-blood-pressure-by-age-chart-and-more#low-blood-pressure
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537297/
  • https://www.metropolisindia.com/blog/prevention-healthcare/understanding-blood-pressure-normal-range-and-age-related-chart
  • https://www.verywellhealth.com/average-blood-pressure-by-age-5085328
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