Blood pressure: 138/80 - healthy?

Just had my bp taken for the first time in years. It’s 138 over 80. I’m 27, 62kg (approx 10 stone) and am 178cm tall.

I don’t smoke, I cycle 5 times a week for 30 mins a day (to work and back) eat pasta and veg and salad and sandwiches and thai and indian but not really a lot of meat and drink about 14 units a week

Apparently the ‘80’ is more important and my S.O. said that 138 seems high.
Is it? What’s normal for my age etc.

I think that nowadays you would be called pre-hypertensive because a systolic reading over 130 isn’t great. It sounds like you have the joy of essential hypertension, causeless - you are not an overweight, sedentary male with a stressful job. I went from having a BP of 120/70 to being on anti-hypertensives in a few months. My doctor checked for every possible cause and found nothing.

You are far better off than I was but unfortunately the main problem with hypertension is that it is asymptomatic - I had no idea I had it, it just came out on a routine physical. This means that you have to remain vigilant about it to catch it before it stuffs you up. At the same time you don’t want to feel that you are on your death bed. Do some reading and talk to your doctor about how to best handle things and what you can do. If it gets to the point of requiring medication to stabilise your BP, check back I’m sure we will have more information - some of great importance.

By the way the standard “all’s well” for BP is 120/80.

Technique is critical in blood pressure testing. Who did the test? Someone who does this a lot? A physician? Did the cuff fit correctly? Was the guage accurate? Did you sit for 5 minutes beforehand? Was your arm relaxed? Did they check both arms? Even with appropriate answers to all these questions, I’d want someone to double and triple-check the results before taking any action.

That said, 138/80 is pretty borderline. It warrants follow-up, and if confirmed, close following.

Ditto. Coffee will raise your BP. So will stress. 138/80 wouldn’t get me all fired up–pre-hypertensive at best and I wouldn’t call it that unless it was that high on multiple occaisions over some span of time.

Check it again in a few weeks. See your doc if you have q’s. > 140 systolic or > 90 diastolic is more significant and should be treated; > 160 systolic and > 100 diastolic is high and needs good treatment.

The new standard is <120/70. It was once thought this would increase “normally” with age, but it is now known that the readings should remain at the same figures.