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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Hypertension

Question: Concerned about higher systolic pressure

 Simeonov.Kalin - Thu Mar 27, 2008 5:05 am

Dear medical crew,

I’ve recently found that my systolic pressure runs out of the normal range. Despite the fact that sometimes I still can detect it in the mid to upper 120s (usually late evenings), most of the time it stays in the range 130-138. Surprisingly, the diastolic readings are quite normal in the range 70-78. I forgot to mention that I’m only 30 and would not be pleased to consider starting the BP medicines. Another strange fact is that when I put the cuff on my arm my heart rate increases rapidly – sometimes reaching the values of 120-125 per minute, while it normally stays in the range 68-78. Would my condition be caused by the so called “white coat syndrome”, generally assuming some kind of anxiety, when I take the readings myself? Would this increased heart rate influence only my systolic pressure?
I would be very thankful to receive your competent medical opinion!

Thank you in advance!

P.S. I’m slightly overweight with BMI of 25.5, but otherwise have a pretty healthy diet on low sodium and fats.
 Debbie Miller, RN - Wed Apr 09, 2008 4:30 pm

User avatar Hello,
I would suggest taking your blood pressure regularly at a "safe" place such as a drugstore where "white coat anxiety" would not be a factor. Only do it once at each attempt and keep a record of the results since the pattern is more important than any single reading. Then take the record with you when you see the doctor.

Also, if you could get started on an exercise program and lose some weight, it has been found that even a small loss can make a bit difference in blood pressure and other measures of good health.

Best wishes.
 gretaboo - Tue Dec 08, 2009 3:18 pm

Unfortunately, her question was not answered.

She believes she is experiencing stress upon taking her own blood pressure. She is wondering if this can have the same kind of affect as "white coat hypertension."

A drugstore would not be a "safe place." There is no such thing as a safe place if you are stressed out by the very act of taking your own blood pressure.

I am having a similar problem and would like to hear some information about whether my high anxiety over taking my blood pressure could be raising it particular the systolic pressure.


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