Expected Blood Pressure in older adults

  1. I am a Student nurse in NZ.
    We have learnt that the expected range for blood pressure was 100-130/60-90 mmHg.
    When I took my clients blood pressure (86 y.o), I got systolic pressure as 170. When I said this was a bit high (she is a previous doctor), she said that was expected, and that systolic should be 100 + clients age. My clinical lecturer agreed that it wasnt too high,
    Is this correct?

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    About Rebewarr

    Joined: May '10; Posts: 8; Likes: 4


  3. by   Bob_N_VA
    A quick search online and there are some discrepancies as to what is considered a normal systolic reading for older adults, but in no way does 170 qualify as normal. If thats the case, my bp would be about 150+, and I would not be happy about the long term consequences.
  4. by   RNTutor
    I agree. It is expected for baseline BPs to get higher as you grow older due a decrease in the elasticity of your blood vessels. But that still sounds pretty high to me...
  5. by   dallet6
    Sounds high to me too. I'm just a first semester student, but we were taught that normal for older adult is 140/90. Was the patient already on hypertensives?
  6. by   Rebewarr
    No, client was not on any medication for blood pressure. She didn't seem to believe me when I said it seemed a bit high. I still put it in documentation, and told her she might want to consult her GP or health professional in the village.
    I too thought above 140 in older adults seemed a bit high!
  7. by   That Guy
    yeah 170 is doing damage and is way too high.
  8. by   turnforthenurse
    Sounds high. And you can't expect all older adults to have higher blood pressures. Based on my experience they usually are hypertensive but I have also ran into my fair share of older adults who are also hypotensive and some that actually have a normal BP.
  9. by   CharlotteDarcy
    As we age, blood pressure often increase along with peripheral vascular resistance. However, it's often difficult to distinguish normal aging variation from a disease process. The best thing to do is to document and include it in the plan of care.
  10. by   Michaelxy
    Your lecturer should be scolded. 170 is even way high for Rip Van Winkle.