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High Blood Pressure

Why does my blood pressure fluctuate

10/22/2007

Question:

I am 67 male very active, slim, non smoker. Bp varies from 170/85 to 135/65 not on any medication

Answer:

Blood pressure variability can have several causes.  A person's level of activity, physical or mental stress, diet and sleep pattern can all affect the blood pressure.  In most cases, the variability is benign.

It is important to measure the blood pressure under standardized resting conditions to minimize the effect of these factors on the measurement.  Most of our data relating blood pressure to cardiovascular risk are based on such standardized office blood pressure measurements.

As long as your average resting blood pressure is around 130/80, you don't require treatment.  On the other hand, if your resting blood pressure (measured correctly) stays over 140/90, you should be started on medication.

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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