Expected Blood Pressure in older adults

  1. 0
    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?

    Thanks
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  3. 8 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    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.
  5. 0
    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...
  6. 0
    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?
  7. 0
    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!
  8. 0
    yeah 170 is doing damage and is way too high.
  9. 0
    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.
  10. 0
    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.
  11. 0
    Your lecturer should be scolded. 170 is even way high for Rip Van Winkle.


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