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While conventional wisdom suggests blood pressure rises gradually as we age, that’s not true for everyone, according to new research in JAMA Cardiology.

However, a systolic blood pressure reading (the top number) that regularly goes above 120 to 125 mm Hg may signal impending high blood pressure, regardless of age.

Using data from the Framingham Heart Study, which categorized participants based on the age at which they received a diagnosis of high blood pressure (in their 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s or never), researchers found that once a person’s blood pressure reached that range, it rose rapidly into the elevated range, which used to be 140/90.

Recently revised guidelines are now 130/80. The advice: keep close tabs on your blood pressure.

 

 

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