Age and BP calculations

I've been browsing around looking at 'normal' BP rates and see there are a lot of differences of opinion as to what is or isn't a healthy reading.

The NHS seem to stick rigidly to 120/80 whatever your age, where other sites bring age into their calculation. If I follow the NHS criteria I have high BP, but the other calculations make me more or less normal if I keep below 140/90.

How is the age and sex of a person's BP calculated - is there a formula?

7 Replies

  • Hi. I don't know the calculation sorry. However my GP specialises in bp and is happy for mine to be 140/80. I'm 61. When medication took mine down to 120 I felt faint and dizzy.

  • I'm 77 and 5 weeks ago I stopped taking my meds without GP supervision as I knew she'd go ballistic if I told her. I was feeling generally 'tired all the time' and really 'down' and getting no enjoyment out of life, nothing seemed worth the effort.

    I take my BP every morning around 9.30, then average it out over the week, it has had hardly any difference on my readings - the 1st week's average was 161/75 and last week's 133/81.

    I just feel better in myself now and seem to have more stamina too.

    I'm not urging everyone to try this because its a really stupid thing to do, but the pills didn't seem to be helping and I'm much happier with 133/81 - I am 77 and content.

    But it would be good to know how these calculations regarding age and bp are formulated, and how much they really matter.

  • I don't know of any formula but I met an Italian friend many years ago who told me that his BP was 140/90 with taking medicine for it (albeit low doses) but that his doctor was happy with that result. I was told to check my BP three times and calculate an average reading. I had serious problems with my liver when I took Enalapril (I was taking another medicine as well) so I decided to just continue checking it. Your reading seems quite OK, especially as you're feeling better in yourself too.

  • Great news! that you are good without meds..sounds like the meds were increasing your pressure. What were your readings prior to getting put on meds?

  • exDancer...I am a 66 yr. old Dr. wants me at 140/80. I run 150's over mid 80's. First he said the bottom number is what he worries about then down the road he said top and both numbers,,,so confused, I am a very nervouse, sensative person and have a lot o stress in my life..I take on other peoples problems and feel their pain. I have to try to get "numb" to stressful situations. I know my pb is because of my personality. Hence the word "Hyper" in Hypertension. I am also med sensitive and have tried many, so far I can only tolerate the channel blockers. They do relax me and keep my bottom number low but sometimes the top number goes up into the 160's. I am currently on Verapamil 120mg. 1x day.

    I will watch he numbers and if they go higher for a long period of time I will go to 180mg.

  • Do you take your own blood pressure at all? It wasn't until I got my own little moniter (a wrist one because the arm ones hurt) that I realised how up and down the readings are during the day (for no apparent reason). I am frequently at 180/80 and then down to 119/79 a couple of house later.

    Early in the morning it seems to be high, also after eating, but on returning home exhausted after an hour's swimming I was back in the 120s again.

    As to the systolic and diastolic numbers - I've been given so many different explanations I too am confused. I know the high one is the pressure of blood pumped by the heart and the low one is when its resting - which is understandable - but otherwise ..... is it good to be low at the bottom as well as the top?

  • I have a wrist monitor and take my own readings. I too find my reading high in the mornings 156/82 sometimes higher but in the afternoon the number go down to 140/80 then raise up at night.

    maybe because I take Verapamil in the morning and it takes a while to kick in ?

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