Blood Pressure Readings
The top number measures the pressure in the arteries when when the heart muscle contracts.
The bottom number measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart muscle is resting between beats and refilling with blood.
Diagnose of High Blood Pressure
Starting at the age 20, if the blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg the American Heart Association recommends a blood pressure screening once every 2 years.
The blood pressure rises with each heartbeat and falls when the heart relaxes between beats. Blood pressure changes in posture, stress, sleep and exercise it should normally remain less than 120/80 mm Hg (less than 120 systolic AND less than 80 diastolic) for an adult age 20 or over.
If the reading of blood pressure is higher than normal, your doctor may take several readings over period and/or advise you to monitor your blood pressure at home before diagnosing you with high blood pressure.
A single high reading does not necessarily mean that you have high blood pressure.
However, if the readings remain at 140/90 mm Hg or above (systolic 140 or above OR diastolic 90 or above) over time, your doctor may advise you starting a treatment program. The program includes lifestyle changes and often with prescription medication for those with readings of 140/90 or higher.
When checking your blood pressure, if you get a systolic reading of 180 mm Hg or higher OR a diastolic reading of 110 mm HG or higher, wait several minutes and take it again. If the reading still remains at or above that level, you should seek immediate emergency medical treatment for a hypertensive crisis.
Even if the blood pressure becomes normal, you should consider making lifestyle modifications preventing the development of high blood Pressure (HBP) and improving the heart health.
Top (systolic) number vs bottom (diastolic) number
For people over 50 years old, typically more attention is paid to the top number (the systolic blood pressure) as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Most people have systolic blood pressure rising steadily with age due to increasing stiffness of large arteries, long-term build-up of plaque, and increased incidence of cardiac and vascular disease.
Heart Rate (Pulse) (PUL)
Pulse (heart rate) is the number of times the heart beating per minute. Normal heart rate varies from person to person. As you age, changes in the rate and regularity of your pulse can change and may signify the heart condition or other condition.
The resting heart rate is the heart pumping the lowest amount of blood our body need. In a calm and relax position, sitting or lying, the heart rate is normally between 60 (beats per minute) and 100 (beats per minute). Active people often have lower heart rates because their heart muscle is in a better condition, not necessary to work as hard to maintain a steady beat.
Moderate physical activity doesn’t usually make much change to the resting pulse. For a very fit person it could change to 40. A less active person might have a heart rate between 60 and 100 because the heart muscle has to work harder to maintain the bodily functions, making it higher.
Other Factors Affecting the Heart Rate
- Air temperature
- Body position: Resting, sitting or standing
- Body size: Body size usually doesn’t usually change pulse. If you’re very obese, you might see a higher resting pulse than normal, but usually not more than 100.
- Medication use
Arrhythmia is an abnormal rhythm of the heart which is caused by problems with the heart’s electrical system. The electrical impulses may go too fast, too slowly, or irregularly – causing the heart to beat too fast, too slowly, or irregularly.
Types of Arrhythmias
- Atrial Fibrillation = upper heart chambers contract irregularly
- Bradycardia = slow heart rate
- Conduction Disorders = heart does not beat normally
- Premature contraction = early heart beat
- Tachycardia = very fast heart rate
- Ventricular Fibrillation = disorganized contraction of the lower chambers of the heart
- Other Rhythm Disorders
- Types of Arrhythmia in Children
Each day the average heart beats (expands and contracts) 100,000 times and pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood.
Abnormal heart rhythms (Arrhythmias)
Arrhythmias are abnormal beats. The term “arrhythmia” refers to any change from the normal sequence of electrical impulses, causing abnormal heart rhythms. Arrhythmias may be completely harmless or life-threatening.
A fast heart rate (adult – more than 100 beats/minute) is named tachycardia.
A slow heart rate (less than 60 beats/minute) is referred to as bradycardia.
Causes of Arrhythmia
- The heart’s natural pacemaker develops an abnormal rate or rhythm.
- The normal conduction pathway is interrupted.
- Another part of the heart takes over the work as pacemaker.
Normal Pulse Rates for Women
A pulse is the measurement of heart beats per minute. The normal pulse for a healthy adult is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. A number of factors affect your pulse range. Women over 13 generally have a higher pulse than men. Factors — such as age, weight and how active a person is–all change the pulse range. Everyone is slightly different; It is always advisable to contact your doctor before starting an exercise program and to check what heart rate is right for you.
Pulse Rates At Rest
A woman’s pulse should always be lower when at rest. The normal pulse for a woman not currently involved in a strenuous activity is between 60 to 70 beats per minute. It is common for a woman’s pulse to be slightly higher or lower, depending on other factors.
Pulse Rates in Exercising
While you exercise, your pulse should be elevated. A healthy, regularly active adult female should have a pulse between 90 to 120 beats per minute while involved in an exercise.
Right Pulse Rate For Age
A woman’s age also plays a role in what their proper pulse rate should be. A younger woman will generally have a higher pulse rate (heart rate) while at rest and during exercise. An older woman’s heart rate will be lower.
Pulse Rate vs Your Weight
Women of extremely different weights are going to have very different pulse rates. The pulse rate of a heavier woman’s will be higher at rest and while active than a lighter woman. An overweight woman may see significantly elevated heart rates while at rest.