Blood Pressure 159/81
A blood pressure reading of 159/81 indicates Stage 1 Hypertension (high blood pressure).
View the full blood pressure chart to learn more about blood pressure readings.
What does a blood pressure reading of 159/81 mean?
Readings above 140 systolic pressure indicate Stage 1 Hypertension even if your diastolic pressure is between 80 and 89. This is because the worse reading is used when systolic and diastolic pressure fall into different ranges.
Hypertension increases your risk of life-threatening problems such as heart attacks and stroke. Blood pressure in this range may also damage the heart and kidneys, particularly in those who already have chronic medical problems affecting these organs.
What to do if your blood pressure reading is 159/81
A blood pressure reading of 159/81 can be cause for concern. The first step is to take another reading to confirm your blood pressure.
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Elevated blood pressure should be confirmed on at least 3 separate days before diagnosing hypertension.
Already diagnosed with hypertension? If so a blood pressure in this range may indicate the need to adjust your blood pressure medications.
Once you have been assessed by a medical professional there are a number of ways you can address a blood pressure reading of 159/81.
Medications with Blood Pressure of 159/81
If you aren’t on medications already, your doctor may recommend you begin with lifestyle changes. However, many will ultimately need medication to reduce their high blood pressure.
Medications can have a big impact on your blood pressure. There are a variety of different types of blood pressure medications available.
Following is a short list of each type of medication and what they do to reduce blood pressure.
Helps rid the body of sodium (salt), which helps control blood pressure.
Helps reduce your heart rate, which helps lower blood pressure.
- ACE inhibitors
ACE stands for Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme. Helps the body produce less angiotensin, which helps the blood vessels relax and lowers blood pressure.
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers
Helps block the chemical that causes blood vessels to narrow, which helps blood vessels stay open and lowers blood pressure.
- Calcium channel blockers
Helps lower blood pressure by preventing calcium from entering smooth muscle cells, which can cause stronger heart contraction and narrow blood vessels.
- Alpha blockers
Helps relax certain muscles, which keeps blood vessels open and lowers blood pressure.
- Alpha-2 Receptor Agonists
Helps lower blood pressure by inhibiting sympathetic activity.
- Central agonists
Using a different nerve path than Alpha and Beta blockers, Central agonists help relax blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure.
Helps dilate (or open) the blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure.
In addition, ask your doctor if any medications could worsen your blood pressure. Typically this includes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin as well as some types of anti-depressant medications.
Talk with your doctor about changing or adjusting the dosage of medications to help bring your blood pressure readings down.
Lifestyle Changes with Blood Pressure of 159/81
Medications can do a lot to reduce high blood pressure but lifestyle changes remain a frontline of defense.
Lifestyle modifications for those with a blood pressure of 159/81 include the following:
- Stop smoking
- Lose weight
- Increase exercise
- Lower salt intake
- Reduce caffeine
- Limit alcohol
- Alleviate stress
Review your medical plan with a doctor before pursuing lifestyle modifications since each patient may have specific medical conditions that make certain activities dangerous. For instance, your level of physical exercise might be limited by a heart condition.
My Medical Score performs research to ensure the content is accurate and timely. Our sources include high-quality academic research institutions, medical associations and peer-reviewed studies.
Understanding Blood Pressure Readings (American Heart Association)https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/understanding-blood-pressure-readings
Choosing Blood Pressure Medications (Mayo Clinic)https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/in-depth/high-blood-pressure-medication/art-20046280
2017 Guideline for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults (Journal of The American College of Cardiology)http://www.onlinejacc.org/content/71/19/e127?_ga=2.86879320.1182640551.1528306905-1524800955.1528306905
Low Blood Pressure (MedlinePlus)https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007278.htm
Blood Pressure Readings Near 159/81
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