Aging and blood pressure

Q: Is 120 over 80 a realistic BP number for seniors over 65? All of my friends have readings above that.

A: Blood pressure changes with aging and illness. Less than 120/80 should be viewed as a goal pressure with an acceptable range being less than 139/89. According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, about two thirds of adults over age 65 have uncontrolled high blood pressure. I suggest your friends talk to their healthcare providers about how they can improve their blood pressure if their systolic pressure is greater than 139 or their diastolic pressure is greater than 89.

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