5 myths about blood pressure and heart rate
Often it is assumed that blood pressure levels go hand in hand with the values of the heart rate. The truth is that the blood pressure is the force of blood following in the arteries. The heart rate on the other hand is the number of times your heart beats every minute. Few myths about the link between blood pressure and heart rate:
1. Blood pressure and heart rate are always linked.
False: It is true that the blood pressure and heart rate often change simultaneously. When the body is under some kinds of stress the blood pressure and the heart rate may change together. However if the heart rate rises, that does not automatically mean that your blood pressure will also rise and vice versa. The readings from the measurements of the two indicators may be considered separately as each of them may indicate different problems.
2. Blood pressure and heart rate have measurement values that are considered “normal”.
False: It is common to have reference guidelines which indicate the condition of the person to be normal, but still the values may differ from individual to individual. Optimal blood pressure typically is defined to be 120 upper limit (this is the pressure as heart beats) to 80 lower limit (the pressure as heart relaxes). For the heart rate in a relaxed state the values are between 60 to 100 beats per minute. It is good to consult with a doctor so he can define what is “normal” for you.
3. A low pulse or blood pressure always indicates a problem.
False: What is healthy for one person may indicate problem for another. For example: for a young person in good physical condition a heart rate around 50 beats or even 40 can be a sign that he is actually in a really good shape. Low blood pressure for older people and those with heart diseases can be tricky though. The important thing is the general condition of the person and how he feels. Symptoms in combination with measurement readings can give idea if there is a problem or not.
4. High blood pressure is more dangerous than high heart rate.
True: There are enough researches which show that when blood pressure is higher than normal for a given person for a long period, it increases the risk of heart diseases. Elevated heart rate may also be a sign for problem but the cause-effect relationship is not so clear.
5. It is important when you measure blood pressure and heart rate.
True: To measure blood pressure or heart rate, choose a time when you are relaxed. If you measure a few times a day, you can calculate the average values of your readings to have a better idea of your condition.