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Peter asked...

My blood pressure reading is 180/84 should I be concerned by this?

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The Answer

You will need to see you general practitioner or practice nurse about this reading, if your blood pressure is persistently at this value for their clinical interpretation and the recommended management.

A high blood pressure (hypertension) is defined as a blood pressure that is above 140/90mmHg on repeated visits to your GP.  If we are not relaxed, when we take our blood pressure on a number of occasions, then our blood pressure reading may be inaccurate and produce a similar value as to the one that you have provided. The home monitoring of your blood pressure is the most accurate way to monitor your blood pressure because you will be relaxed on various occasions when you take your blood pressure reading at home.

When one reading is high as in your case (systolic 180mmHg), your doctor or practice nurse will arrange blood pressure checks in the practice or at home over a number of weeks with a home monitoring device or an ambulatory device (a machine strapped to your arm).

Your health care professional will also look at your cardiovascular risk factors for developing a stroke or heart attack and whether there are other factors such as diabetes or kidney problems that may also contribute to a high blood pressure.

An assessment will then be made as to whether you require ‘lifestyle’ advice to help you manage your blood pressure or medication.  Managing hypertension and cardiovascular risk factors is a key area for general practitioners and practice nurses to be involved within and there are clear guidelines that these health care professionals follow.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses  

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