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How do numbers change in high blood pressure?

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Many people pay more attention to the systolic rate than the diastolic, but experts say that the heart can tolerate a high top (systolic) number better than a high bottom (diastolic) number. As you age, though, the systolic number tends to take on additional significance as the risk of heart attack and especially stroke increases. Blood pressure does change throughout the day, depending on your activities. Blood pressure changes over time, as well. Systolic blood pressure tends to rise as you get older. Diastolic blood pressure may decrease as you get older. If either of your blood pressure readings is consistently above normal, then you need to take action right away. You and your doctor can develop a plan to treat high blood pressure or even prehypertension before damage to your organs occurs.

SOURCES: American Academy of Family Physicians web site: "High Blood Pressure: Things You Can Do to Help Lower Yours." Mayo Clinic web site: "How being black affects your blood pressure: A healthy lifestyle is important regardless of skin color." National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute web site: "Your Guide to Lowering High Blood Pressure; What Are High Blood Pressure and Prehypertension?" WebMD Medical Reference: "High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)," "How adrenaline regulates blood pressure." American Medical Association.



 

Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum on January 22, 2017

SOURCES: American Academy of Family Physicians web site: "High Blood Pressure: Things You Can Do to Help Lower Yours." Mayo Clinic web site: "How being black affects your blood pressure: A healthy lifestyle is important regardless of skin color." National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute web site: "Your Guide to Lowering High Blood Pressure; What Are High Blood Pressure and Prehypertension?" WebMD Medical Reference: "High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)," "How adrenaline regulates blood pressure." American Medical Association.



 

Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum on January 22, 2017

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