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High Blood Pressure

Effects of fluctuation of blood pressure

07/30/2007

Question:

Allow me to apologize for misprinted information: The high blood pressure range in my original question regarding "effects of fluctuation of blood pressure" indicated 190/130 and should have been 190/90. (The 130 was the recommended average top number) with recurring sudden drops of blood pressure in the 70/40 range. Again, the concern our family shares is that such an ongoing condition is, not only detrimental to daily functioning, but also harmful to the heart and body. Thank you for any advice you may have.

Answer:

A blood pressure of 190/90 is indicative of a large pulse pressure.  The pulse pressure is the difference between the upper number (systolic) and the lower number (diastolic).  A normal pulse pressure is 50 or less.

The high pulse pressure you describe is typical of patients with stiff, non-elastic arteries.  Again, treatment has to be instituted slowly and carefully, and episodes of blood pressure below 110 systolic should be avoided if at all possible. 

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Response by:

Max C Reif, MD Max C Reif, MD
Professor of Medicine
Director of Hypertension Section
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati