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High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure

05/22/2009

Question:

I have had high blood pressure for three years and been on two medications. Early on I had to lower the dose of one of my medications because my blood pressure was too low. Right now my life is very stressful. I have gotten my blood pressure checked and it is always 120/80. How does stress affect blood pressure and could this mean that my blood pressure was low and now stress brought it up to normal?

Answer:

Stress can acutely increase blood pressure. However, even in those going through a stressful period, we can expect that, if allowed to rest for 5 minutes and the blood pressure is taken correctly, their blood pressure should be at or below their blood pressure when it is appropriately treated. Thus, your current blood pressure of 120/80 means that it is under control despite the stress.

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Response by:

Jackson T Wright, MD, PhD, FACP Jackson T Wright, MD, PhD, FACP
Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University