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High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure



My blood pressure was 160/100; how bad is that? What does it mean? My doctor put me on blood pressure medication and I have to have a blood test to determine cholesterol; my last one was 159 in bad cholestrol. I know I need to makes changes, but I don`t understand what these numbers mean.


A normal or optimal blood pressure is 120/80.  Every 20 mmHg increase in systolic pressure (the upper number), doubles you risk of dying from heart disease or stroke.  Your doctor is right to prescribe medications for you.  Your treated blood pressure should be no higher than 130/85.

Your LDL cholesterol of 159 is also elevated.  If you are hypertensive, and/or you have other risk factors for heart disease, your LDL cholesterol should be under 130, and if you are diabetic it should be under 100.

You probably need dietary changes and medication to lower your blood cholesterol level, in addition to blood pressure medication. You should discuss these things with the doctor that is treating you.

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Response by:

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