Normal Blood Pressure In his seminal work Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus, published in 1628, William Harvey (1578-1657) assumed a driving force for circulation. It took more than 100 years for blood pressure to be truly measured. In 1733, Steven Hales (1677-1761), with the help of his assistant, inserted a glass cannula into the carotid artery of an awake horse and, for the first time, gritty the level of blood pressure in a living creature and verified its changes during the cardiac cycle.
Unfortunately, his seminal experience had very little influence on the medical practice of physicians of his time because his approach was difficult, if not impossible, to use in humans. Moreover, there was no understanding of the importance of high bp for developing cardiovascular disease.
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What are Average Blood Pressure Values?
To maintain reasonable control over our blood pressure, we must differentiate between two concepts. Systolic pressure is the blood pressure (measured in mm of Hg) when the heart pumps through the arteries. In contrast, diastolic pressure is the heaviness between beats and heartbeat.
Average systolic blood pressure values in adults are 120 mm Hg, while diastolic bp is 80 mm Hg. Therefore, it is considered a risk when the systolic pressure exceeds 140 mm Hg or when the diastolic exceeds 90 mm Hg.
Blood Pressure By Age
As expected, the average blood pressure values will vary depending on the patient’s age, increasing as age increases. Therefore, we can establish a table of blood pressure by age:
In adolescents, the systolic pressure must be between 120 and 105, and the diastolic pressure between 80 and 73.
On the other hand, in young people and adults up to 34 years of age. The values considered correct are between 110 and 134 in systolic pressure and between 85 and 77 in diastolic pressure. In adults up to 30 years of age, the values range between 118 and 144 in the case of systolic and between 90 and 82 in diastolic.
Finally, the group most vulnerable to suffering the consequences of unusual bp are elderly individuals, which is why a complete control recommends. Their values must be between 147 and 121 for systolic and 83 and 91 for diastolic.
Although blood pressure can now measure in every individual and every patient, its importance remains largely unrecognized. However, physicians, especially those dealing with kidney disease, noted that its level was markedly different in patients compared to healthy subjects.
Initially, most physicians, including the then Braunwald, and Paul Dudley White (1886-1973), viewed any elevation of bp in cardiovascular patients as a compensatory mechanism. Indeed, in 1937, he wrote that “hypertension may be an important compensatory mechanism. Which should not be impaired, even though it is inevitable that we could control it.” Therefore, the term “essential hypertension “has been introduced into the medical literature. I was referring to the fact that it was necessary to maintain perfusion to diseased organs.
Therefore, whenever a doctor diagnosed “essential hypertension,” he had no intention, even if he could at the time, to treat the condition. Indeed, most doctors considered it dangerous to lower bp in these patients, and not without good reason. Even today, rapid and marked reductions in blood pressure can impair kidney function in cardiovascular patients. Particularly those with heart failure, kidney failure, and diabetes.
A Change in Paradigm
Over time, however, the concept of “essential hypertension” was abandoned. Some physicians and clinical scientists noted that high blood pressure values occurred. Mainly in patients who died prematurely of heart attacks and accidents. Cerebrovascular. As a result, in 1947, the iconic Framingham study was launched in a suburb of Boston.
Since then, a growing team of excellent epidemiologists and physicians has recruited and followed a large cohort of 5209 initially healthy citizens and measured not only demographics, smoking habits, and body weight but also bp, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels obtained serial ECGs and subsequent echocardiograms from their participants. The results of this study were unequivocal: it showed that smoking, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol were the leading causes of myocardial infarction.
You can have high blood pressure or hypertension and still feel fine. That’s because high blood pressure often doesn’t cause signs of illness that a person can see or feel. But high bp, sometimes called “the silent killer,” is prevalent in older people and is a severe health problem.
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