A recent NY Times article questions the suggested normal blood pressure of (systole) 120/80 (diastole). A few years ago, normal blood pressure was considered to be 140/80 and when the recommendations were changed, more people were taking blood pressure meds. Was this reducing risk and helping them stay healthier?
The problem with protocol-driven blood pressure readings is one size does not fit all. We are all different physiologically and while our current science behind our understanding of blood pressure has reduced risk, people still die from cardiovascular disease.
For years, seniors had their blood pressure lowered according to the guidelines until researchers found many years later that the elevated blood pressure made sure that enough oxygen was reaching their brains. For many of these seniors, they experienced dementia from their physician’s efforts to lower their blood pressure. This multi-year study was featured on the news program 60 minutes. Physicians took note and changed how they manage the problems of the elderly related to blood pressure
There are many women whose systolic blood pressure may only reach 90. A recent study in June in JAMA Cardiology found that as systolic blood pressure rose above 90 mm, the risk of damage to coronary arteries rose along with it. Systolic blood pressure represents the pressure within arteries when the heart pumps (as opposed to diastolic blood pressure, the lower smaller number, when the heart rests).
Of course, in our society, metabolic syndrome also raises blood pressure and we understand that inflammation also increases the risk of a cardiovascular event. A combination of factors may result in stroke, heart attack, or even dementia.
Cardiovascular disease remains the number 1 killer in the USA and doctors still do not fully understand why.
Scientists are now understanding that cardiovascular risk may be multi-factorial.
Check out this recent NY Times article on cardiovascular health
Think You Have ‘Normal’ Blood Pressure? Think Again
Even levels of blood pressure that are generally considered “normal” may be high enough to foster the development of heart disease, new research shows.
By Jane E. Brody
Oct. 19, 2020
So you think your blood pressure is normal? Think again.
The latest iteration of “ideal” blood pressure — a level of 120 millimeters of mercury for systolic pressure, the top number — that Americans are urged to achieve and maintain has been called into question by a long-term multiethnic study of otherwise healthy adults.
The study, published in June in JAMA Cardiology, found that as systolic blood pressure rose above 90 mm, the risk of damage to coronary arteries rose along with it. Systolic blood pressure represents the pressure within arteries when the heart pumps (as opposed to diastolic blood pressure, the lower smaller number, when the heart rests).
The new findings suggest a need to look more carefully at why, despite considerable overall improvements in risk factors for heart disease in recent decades, it remains the nation’s leading killer.