Different medical books define Hypertension differently. But generally most define it as blood pressure above 120 mm mercury systolic and 80 mm mercury diastolic. Also most describe that with increasing age, the normal blood pressure considered also rises.
I give a slightly definition of Hypertension. I define hypertension as blood pressure, which will begin to have a deleterious effect on the cardiovascular system. The Cardiovascular system includes the heart, arteries and veins. Thus according to my definition of hypertension, even blood pressures lower than 120/80 mm Hg can be considered hypertension if it adversely affects the cardiovascular system of the body.
To give an example. Suppose an obese person has a blood pressure of 120/80 mm Hg. But because of fatty deposition and atherosclerosis, his arteries and heart are already undergoing damage and this normally normal blood pressure of 120/80 mm Hg causes damage to its cardiovascular system and is to be considered hypertension in such cases.
Thus according to my definition, it’s the ability of prevailing blood pressure to inflict damage on the cardiovascular system, which defines a blood pressure as hypertension.
But statistical studies show us that in a normal weight healthy person, 120/80 mm Hg or below blood pressure is normal blood pressure, as it does not cause damage to the cardiovascular system.
Thus according to my definition of hypertension, hypertension is to be defined in relation to the health condition of the person as regards its ideal weight, blood cholesterol and blood HDL (High Density Lipoprotein).
As the weight of the person increases as compared to its ideal weight or its blood cholesterol and HDL content rises above normal, the ability of blood pressure to inflict damage on the cardiovascular system increases. Greater the weight increase and or blood cholesterol, HDL content, the greater is the ability of blood pressure to cause damage to cardiovascular system, and in such persons lower is the blood pressure at which it should be defined as hypertension.
To give another example, at 6 feet 6+ inches, 86 kg weight and 31 inch waist, I have a blood pressure of 106-110/70 mmHg which is absolutely normal.(slightly lower BP is compensated by slightly higher heart rate of 80 to 85 per minute in a person of my athletic abilities to provide blood to my brain nearly 2 m above ground!). But suppose my weight was to increase to 110 Kg and waist of 35 inches, than even a blood pressure of 120/80 mm Hg in me will do considerable damage to my cardiovascular system and would be regarded as hypertension.
The above discussion also implies that to prevent cardiovascular damage, we must control blood pressure at lower limits in persons with higher body weight than ideal and or higher blood cholesterol and or HDL levels than normal. Hypertension aggravates other causes of 'Sudden Cardiac Death'.
In view of above information I advise a normal weight, normal cholesterol, normal HDL level person to keep blood pressure below 120/80 mm Hg. For a person above ideal weight, for every 10 Kg above ideal, the blood pressure should be decreased 5 mm Hg for both diastolic and systolic. Similarly for every 20% higher blood cholesterol and or blood HDL above normal, the blood pressure should be maintained 5 mm Hg below for both diastolic and systolic blood pressures.
Keeping blood pressure within limits as I have described above will protect the cardiovascular system to levels found in an ideal weight, normal cholesterol and or HDL level person.
The above discussion assumes exclusion of other risk factors like smoking, stressful lifestyle, genetic susceptibility and other cardiovascular risk factors.
I advise regular weight, blood cholesterol, and HDL and blood pressure measurements. Please check your doctor for the appropriate antihypertensive if your blood pressure is above the above prescribed limits.
Have ideal weight
Have normal blood cholesterol
Have normal HDL
Have normal blood pressure
Enjoy healthy food
Enjoy stress free lifestyle
Have a nice life!