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Submitted by Dr T on December 27, 2012 – 6:22pm

Im 40 and in otherwise good health. My BP has typically been borderline. I will have some good readings and then some that are borderline high. I check at home several times a week ( father had hypertension). I have noticed the last couple weeks, I have seen high readins frequently- 140/95 and even 136/100. The bottom number seems to be stuck in the 86-96 range for some reason. I have never seen readings with these numbers consistently. Im suppose to see my doctor next week for a check up. Can stress/lack of seasonal exercise cause a persons BP to go up that high? Thanks!

Hi Tevin,
Stress, but not exercise, can certainly contribute to hypertension. To diagnose hypertension, JACC recommendations include measuring your blood pressure three times on at least two separate visits, with five minute intervals.
If indeed too high repeatedly, your evaluation will include a variety of tests and looking at risk factors that can be modified

A diagnosis includes looking at your past medical history including history of heart disease, stroke, renal dysfunction and diabetes.

  • Look for evidence of end-organ damage
  • Your kidneys: Check urine for protein and blood
    • Check blood chemistries including potassium and creatinine

If you prove to be part of the 91% of adults in whom no clear cause can be found, treatment involves your lifestyle and advice f what can and should be modified. The goal of blood pressure treatment for uncomplicated hypertension is to get to a BP< 140/90. Untreated hypertension exposes you to high cardiovascular risks that include a heart attack and/or stroke. You can calculate this here.

Hope this helps,
Dr T

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