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Understanding High Blood Pressure In Elderly Adults

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

Hypertension in seniors: Age brings along the freedom from many a responsibility but also carries the risk of many a chronic disease. Diabetes and  High blood pressure are the most typical concerns that plague our elderly.

Blood pressure is the pressure that blood exerts on the walls of our blood vessels. A blood pressure reading is typically indicated with two numbers– the first one means the pressure of the blood when the heart is pumping (called systolic pressure) and the second number indicates the pressure in the blood  when the heart is resting between two beats (called diastolic pressure). Thus, the diastolic pressure is lower than the systolic pressure.

Old man checking blood pressure - High blood pressure in elderly adults

What Reading is Termed as High?

For an average person, a normal blood pressure reading would be 120/80, with 121-139/80-89 being prehypertension. 140/90 and anything over it is termed as high blood pressure or hypertension.

However, a slightly higher range of blood pressure (140-150/90-96) is still acceptable for older adults. This is because the blood vessels tend to stiffen with age making it indispensable to have the higher blood pressure to ensure sufficient blood supply to all the organs, specifically the heart and brain.

Effects of High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can be fatal and damage the brain, heart, or kidney. Quite often, people do not even know that they are suffering from high blood pressure until some significant problem with the kidney, heart, or brain crops up. Thus, high blood pressure is also called a ”silent killer.”

High blood pressure is a severe cause of concern as it can cause the optical nerve to burst, leading to blindness; kidney or heart failure can occur as the arteries bulge, especially those in the brain, legs, kidneys, and heart, leading to a stroke or heart attack.

What  are the Reasons for  High BP in Old Age?

Hypertension in seniors has many causes – being overweight, medicinal side-effects, genetic tendency, prehypertension, diabetes, sedentary life, stress can all lead to high blood pressure; however, most often the cause of high blood pressure might remain unknown.

Low blood pressure called as hypotension is equally important medically and requires medical intervention as the common signs of low blood pressure like blurry vision, confusion, dizziness, fainting are neglected and might lead to complications if left untreated.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj, M.B.B.S., M.D.

How to Manage High BP in Old Age?

Switching to a healthy lifestyle is the only path forward where  high blood pressure in seniors is concerned. The following changes can show positive effects

High blood pressure (hypertension) can cause these thin-walled arteries to rupture, releasing blood into the brain tissue. That’s why it’s important to check BP regularly and take medicines.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

Read More: How to Control High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure is a chronic condition, and one has to take the medications lifelong. At the same time, it is imperative to:

  • Not to skip a dose
  • Take medicines at the same time every single day
  • Cutting the dosage short, skipping the medicines are habits that may backfire any day.

Remember, a stitch in time saves nine. Take care of today and every day to avoid serious health complications later.

Also Read:  Home Remedies For High Blood Pressure

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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