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High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure

02/10/2009

Question:

I am taking a ACE inhibitor and a Calcuim Channel Blocker for my high blood pressure. We reduce the ACE inhibitor because I was getting dizzy and unable to function. Once reduced all the symptoms went away. I seen my cardoilogist yesterday and my blood pressure was 130/70. She said that it was good. I know that the 130 is high and the 70 is low. If I stayed at that number would I have high blood pressure or low blood pressure?

Answer:

A blood pressure of 130/80 is generally good.  We consider a level of 140/90 to be the upper limit of normal for most people.  Blood pressure is expressed in two number, the systolic (the upper) and the diastolic (the lower) number.  The upper number is the peak blood pressure produced by the pumping action of heart, the lower number is the pressure in your arteries during the filling phase of the heart, when its ventricles fill with blood in preparation for the next heart beat.

The upper number (the systolic blood pressure) is the one that is related to the risk of stroke and heart disease.  The lower number has less significance.

In your case, you can consider yourself as having controlled blood pressure.  As long as you feel well, and do not get lightheaded or dizzy when standing up, there is really no level of blood pressure  that is "too low".

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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