Doctors say blood pressure is a critical determinant of your health, even if you are not suffering from it.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about one in 20 people has low blood pressure and the average American has about 115 millimeters of pressure, which is the “point at which it becomes life-threatening,” the Washington Post reported.
So how much blood pressure does a normal adult need?
To determine how much you need, the CDC recommends that you get a blood pressure cuff, which measures the pressure in your arm.
The average person’s blood pressure ranges from 115 to 150 millimeters per liter, or about 80 to 110 millimeters below your age and sex norms.
“Blood pressure has a significant impact on how quickly and how severe you can experience adverse events and the quality of your life,” Dr. Michael E. Hirschfeld, the chief medical officer of the National Institutes of Health, told the Washington Examiner.
A blood pressure reading of less than 100 millimeters could be normal.
“People who are not as close to normal as people with high blood pressure, they don’t have this same pressure problem that people with low blood need,” Dr Hirschfeld said.
The CDC recommends people with normal blood pressure be treated with a diuretic, an antidiuretic drug, as well as a blood thinner or anti-hypertensive medication.
If you’re having a problem, the first step is to get your blood pressure checked.
A test that measures your heart rate is called a ECG, or electrocardiogram.
The heart rate can also tell you how much your body is pumping blood, or how much it’s holding.
An ECG has a built-in battery that keeps it running for a few minutes, while you wait for the results to come back.
If your heart is beating faster than normal, it means you are having a blood clot in your heart, or a blocked artery, which blocks blood flow.
A person with a blood vessel problem, called myocardial infarction, has high blood flow and can have a rapid heartbeat.
If that happens, a doctor may call for an emergency heart monitor to check your heart.
“A high heart rate and abnormal ECG can be signs of a serious heart condition,” Dr Eisner said.
“There is also a lot of research into how the blood pressure can cause more severe conditions.”
To be safe, doctors should keep a regular watch on your blood.
If it gets too high, the doctor may recommend that you take a blood thinning medication called angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors).
These drugs, which are typically taken to control blood clots, have also been linked to more severe outcomes.
Dr Einarsson said ACE inhibitors can help keep your blood pressures below normal and have no long-term side effects.
The American Heart Association recommends taking ACE inhibitors as part of a comprehensive, long-lasting treatment plan.
“It’s a long-acting, highly effective drug, and it works so well,” Dr Sørensen said.
ACE inhibitors also have been shown to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease.
Dr Hillebrand, the Danish researcher, said ACE inhibitor drugs could also help reduce the number of premature deaths.
“I think it’s safe to say that ACE inhibitors, if used correctly, will help us to reduce cardiovascular disease mortality, particularly among older people,” he said.
He noted that ACE inhibitor medications have been proven to have a benefit for people with hypertension, a condition that affects about one-third of the U.S. population.
The World Health Organization recommends ACE inhibitors for people 65 and older, with the highest dose of ACE inhibitors being taken for four to six weeks.
“You need at least one ACE inhibitor, but the more you take the longer it takes,” Dr Wahlqvist said.
While ACE inhibitors have a good safety record, there have been cases of side effects reported.
A woman who had to have her heart valves removed after a heart attack was given a blood transfusion of ACE inhibitor medication.
But Dr Welle, the Swedish researcher, told ABC News that patients can be advised to wait at least two weeks before taking ACE inhibitor medicines.