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High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure for diabetics

04/16/2008

Question:

Dear Doctor, I have diabetes and I think this is how I got high blood pressure. I would like to know what is a normal reading for hypertension with someone who has sugar? What is the top number and the bottom number? To consider hypertension as being high, how should it read? Top and bottom numbers? Thank you and God bless you.

Answer:

Patients with diabetes have a greater risk of being hypertensive, and hypertensive patients have a greater risk of being diabetic.  The combination of diabetes and hypertension greatly increases the risk for heart disease, kidney disease and stroke.  For that reason, diabetics should have their blood pressure well controlled.

While the limits for high blood pressure in the general population are defined as 140/90, diabetics should have a blood pressure of under 130/80.

For people over age 55, almost all the risk is linked to the systolic blood pressure (the upper number).  Therefore, you should keep the upper number under 130 if at all possible.  The diastolic pressure (the lower number) usually does not have to be treated separately.

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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