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Do I need to take medicines for a blood pressure of 140/90 mmHg?

Q: I am a 41 years old male who recently underwent a routine health check-up. The blood sugar was normal but the blood pressure came out to be 160/100 mmHg. The doctor asked me to get my blood pressure monitored for the next three days and the readings were:-

  • First day- 130/80 mmHg (morning); 140/90 mmHg (afternoon) & 150/100 mmHg (evening)
  • Second day- 130/90 mmHg (morning); 120/90 mmHg (afternoon) & 140/90 mmHg (evening)
  • Third day- 130/90 mmHg (morning ); 130/90 mmHg (afternoon) & 130/90 mmHg (evening)
The doctor has asked me to visit him next month for checking blood pressure again and has not prescribed any medicine. He needs to monitor further and says blood pressure up to 140/90 mmHg is normal. But as far as I know, normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg. Do I need any medication at this stage? Is there any harm if the blood pressure fluctuates?

A:Your doctor is absolutely correct; no drug treatment is required up to 140/90 unless there are other cardiovascular risk factors such as smoking, diabetes etc. Moreover, even if the readings are over 140/90 mm Hg, first non-drug methods (salt restriction, healthy diet, mild exercise, stress management, weight reduction if required, Yoga) must be employed before giving drugs. Your doctor is apparently quite competent and ethical; most doctors just rush to prescribe medicines (under the influence of pharma companies) that need to be taken life long and cause side effects.

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