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High Blood Pressure

Low blood pressure

11/03/2006

Question:

I am a 50 year old female with a family history of heart disease. I have mild mitral valve prolapse which was diagnosed about 3 years ago. I was also told that the check pains I was feeling was due to a combination of the prolapse and the fact that my heart beats very strong. Toprol xl 12.5 mg was prescribed for the strong heart beat. Recently I have been experiencing very low blood pressure, 99/47, 96/45, normally I run 90/70. My cardiologist ran a 24 hour monitor on me which I haven`t received the results from yet. My blood pressure this morning was 97/63 with a pulse of 115. I have been feeling some heart racing. I have another doctors appoint on 11/30.

Can you explain what the pulse rate is, and what the blood pressure numbers mean. I don`t me mine personally but in general what those numbers measure. Thanks for your forum.

Answer:

In general, low blood pressure is not a problem as long as the person is asymptomatic.  If you feel well and have no episodes of lightheadedness or dizziness, you low blood pressure is harmless.

On the other hand, a resting heart rate of 115 is high and should be slowed down.  There is a relationship between increased resting heart rate and the development of cardiovascular disease, with an optimal heart rate being around 60.  You may need more Toprol, but this could possibly lower your blood pressure too much and you could become symptomatic.

If appropriate, you should consider a graduated exercise program.  Regular exercise can slow down your resting heart rate and would also be beneficial for your general health.  You should check with your doctor before starting exercise.

For more information:

Go to the High Blood Pressure health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Max C Reif, MD Max C Reif, MD
Professor of Medicine
Director of Hypertension Section
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati