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Understanding the blood pressure readings

What your values mean and how OME Health can help improve your blood pressure values

Mark avatar
Written by Mark
Updated over a week ago

The only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to get it measured. High blood pressure is often referred to as ‘the silent killer’ as often there are no symptoms until there is significant damage to the heart and/or arteries. 

Blood Pressure Numbers and what they Mean

  • Systolic blood pressure (the first number) – indicates how much pressure your blood exerts on your artery walls when the heart beats.

  • Diastolic blood pressure (the second number) – indicates how much pressure your blood exerts on your artery walls between beats, when your heart is resting. 

What are the ranges?

Find out what category your blood pressure readings fall into using our table below, as recommended by Blood Pressure UK and the American Heart Association. Please note, a diagnosis of high blood pressure must be confirmed with a medical professional. A doctor should also evaluate unusual low blood pressure readings. 

Your Personalised Blood Pressure Target in Progress Tab

Your target blood pressure see in your Progress Tab may have a goal slightly different to those seen on this table, that’s because your goals are dynamic depending on your readings and are there to guide you with small, achievable steps to gradually reduce your blood pressure if required. 

Blood Pressure Categories

The five blood pressure ranges as recognised by the American Heart Association are: 

Normal: Readings of less than 120/80 mm Hg are considered with the normal range. If you fall into this category, stick with heart-healthy habits such as following a balanced diet rich in plant-based foods and getting regular exercise. 

Elevated: Elevated blood pressure is when readings consistently range from 120-129 mmHg systolic and less than 80 mmHg diastolic. People with elevated blood pressure are likely to develop high blood pressure unless changes in their diet and lifestyle are put into action.

Hypertension Stage 1: This is when blood pressure consistently ranges from 130-139 systolic or 80-89 mmHg diastolic. At this stage doctors usually prescribe lifestyle changes and may consider adding medication based on your risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, such as heart attack or stroke. If you are consistently getting readings within this range, it’s good to book in an appointment with your doctor. 

Hypertension Stage 2: This is when blood pressure consistently ranges at 140/90 mmHg or higher. At this stage doctors are likely to prescribe a combination of medication and lifestyle changes. If you are getting consistent measurements within this range and haven’t yet seen your doctor or health practitioner, we recommend doing so. 

Hypertensive Crisis: This stage of high blood pressure requires medical attention. If your blood pressure readings suddenly exceed 180/120 mmHg, wait five minutes then test your blood pressure again. If your readings are still unusually high, contact your doctor immediately. 

How OME can Help High Blood Pressure

Diet and lifestyle have a big impact on your blood pressure. Therefore, making suitable changes can help decrease readings that are creeping up. We will identify key aspects of your diet and lifestyle that are likely to be effecting your blood pressure and provide you with tailored weekly goals and a meal plan to help introduce beneficial habits into your everyday life to prevent or help to reverse high blood pressure. 

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