Hi all. I normally post on the Rheumatoid Arthritis forum, but I had a blood pressure question that many of you will be able to answer. What is "normal" blood pressure and when should a middle-aged female start being concerned about readings?
Having RA, I'm already at risk for cardiovascular disease, and my readings are now almost consistently in the 130's--usually over 80 something, but sometimes 90 something. My male supervisor has similar readings and his doctor is very concerned. My doctors don't appear to be all that concerned about the readings and I'm just wondering if there's isn't something sexist going on here--not recognizing or acknowledging significant risk factors in women because we all know that women don't have heart attacks as frequently as men (I say this sarcastically).
I'm just wondering if I should bring this topic up to a new primary I'll be seeing in November.
Of course you should indeed bring up this issue with your new doctor.
As you indicated, in patients with RA, they are in greater danger not only of the kind of heart disease that causes heart attacks, but the type that causes heart failure.
Even if you are only bumping up against the top end of acceptable BP, with your RA it might be wise to
take early steps to avoid the progression that often comes with age.
In other words, why not make healthy changes in your diet now, instead of waiting until you clearly have a problem.
There is no down side to improving your diet and exercise now.
Ask your new doctor what is the absolute healthiest diet you could be on to protect your heart, your vascular system, and your RA associated problems.
Why not change.
BTW, I assume you are taking your BP at home. Just realize that it jumps all over the place in the course of a day or a week. 15 points higher or lower is nothing to think twice about.
Rather get feel for what is normal, most of the time.
Sure, you can go overboard on testing it, but between now and the appointment with your new doctor, keep a record of your readings and you can discuss it with him.
You might also take your BP monitor into the appointment to see if it gives similar readings to his unit.
Not impossible that your at home unit could be off by a bit.
Don't drop your concern about being a patient with RA and how that can place you at increased risk.
Use that as motivation to optimize your diet and exercise, looking 20 years into the future.
Post Edited (Franklen) : 10/12/2013 1:01:44 PM (GMT-6)