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Wednesday, September 3, 2014
High Blood Pressure
To medicate or not
I am a 56 yr. old male, non-smoker. I walk approximately 4-6 times a week for 45 minutes in the morning. Before I start walking, my blood pressure is high, usually around 127/97, give or take. But in the afternoon, after having walked in the morning, it is in the normal range or somewhere around 118/84. Do you think this situation calls for medication? Thanks
You do not need medication at this time.
According to current guidelines, the optimal blood pressure is 119/79 or lower. Values between 120/80 and 139/89 are considered to represent "prehypertension". Prehypertension does not require drug therapy, but lifestyle changes are recommended for this group of patients.
Recommended lifestyle changes include:
- Maintain normal body weight (body mass index 18.5 to 24.9)
- Consume a diet rich in fruit and vegetables
- Reduce salt intake to 6 gm or less per day
- Engage in regular physical activity
- Limit alcohol consumption to 2 drinks per day for men and 1 drink per day for women.
Max C Reif, MD
Professor of Medicine
Director of Hypertension Section
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati