The importance of good blood pressureDr. Veita Bland / May 30, 2017
As we go about this world we are all reminded that there are certain things we should be doing to maintain our health.
We all strive to have that beautiful green yard this time of the year with beautiful flowers. They do not come without effort. The yard must be tended with fertilizing the soil, removing the weeds, pruning the shrubs and dead heading the flowers. Without the proper care the lawn does not become the beauty we desire.
When we think of our bodies we need to remember that some maintenance is also required here. As a hypertension specialist one of the things I recommend is that you have a quality blood pressure monitor in the home. You are seen in the office a few times a year. What is most important though is what your blood pressure is at home. A quality blood pressure machine which is used correctly is a necessity in managing blood pressure. Your health care provider may request that you bring your machine in to the office so its accuracy can be determined and your technique of operation is correct. Once that has been determined, your health care provider knows the readings that you bring in from home are correct and can be used in managing your blood pressure.
Most readings done in the office will be higher than the ones at home. This makes perfect sense when you consider that you are most relaxed at home and not so in the office.
I try to tell patients that we are just not chasing numbers. These numbers have very real meanings that affect the quality of our lives. We know that maintaining a good blood pressure is important at any age. New evidence supports making sure that as patients get older we still need to maintain their systolic or top numbers below 140. The top number is the most important one in older years. Studies show that there is more cognitive decline and strokes if blood pressure is not maintained. Most people are afraid of the word stroke. They should be more concerned about the constant loss of brain tissue that occurs when blood pressure is elevated, which may result in dementia.
It is always devastating to me when someone tells me and truly believes that their blood pressure reading should be their age plus 100. Unless there are particular reasons I still try to encourage people to keep their blood pressure readings as close to normal as they can, that being 120/80. Studies have proven that people in their 30’s who have blood pressure readings above 130 can have an increased risk of dementia.
As stated, as you get older that top number still should be below 140 to avoid additional dementia.
Maintain your blood pressure as diligently as you maintain that yard. Enjoy the yard and remember what it took to get there.
Keep up with those blood pressure numbers.
Dr. Veita Bland is a board certified Greensboro physician and hypertension specialist. Dr. Bland’s radio show, “It’s a Matter of Your Health,” can be heard live on Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. on North Carolina A&T State University’s WNAA, 90.1 FM. Listeners may call in and ask questions. The show is replayed on Sirius 142 at 5 p.m. on Wednesdays. Email Dr. Bland at firstname.lastname@example.org.