How high can blood pressure get before a heart attack?

I spoke with my mom today. She's in her late 60s and has had high blood pressure for years. She still works regularly but is staying home this week to see if her blood pressure can be moderated after spiking to 236/145. (I'm not 100% sure about the second number–it may be a little off, but I am absolutely positive about the 236.)

She was given a new medication, as well as some anxiety medicine. She's always had high blood pressure, but the 236 even scared her.

So, how close is someone to a heart attack (or some other major body malfunction) when blood pressure goes that high? I remember my mom's mom had high blood pressure and died from a massive heart attack at age 70 about twenty years ago.

Written By Evie Neumann

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • James M January 31, 2009, 4:49 am

    There is no number that causes a heart attack. So if your BP is say 236/120 for a few days nothing will happen. Or a brisk run or stress that drives up blood pressure for a few minutes or an hour is normal.

    Its the prolonged high blood pressure for YEARS that damages permanently damages one's heart. Yes, its the length of time that the heart sees this kind of a load that in the end causes damage to the hearts muscles, arteries, veins, valves and nearly every part of the heart. The liver, the kidneys and internal organs get damaged with high blood pressure for a prolonged period of time.

    This is irrepairable, so it is important to do everything possible to lower it to at least the160/100 mark . That includes a crash diet to get off any extra pounds like now.

    It is possible that if your mom has had this kind of a blood pressure for years, she has already damaged her heart and her liver and kidneys and of course that will geatly shorten her life. I dont mean to scare you, but I do want to scare you sufficiently to get mom to a Cartiologist immediately. Yes, a Cartiologist, not some Family Practice Doctor.

    What your mom needs is a new medical advice and treatment of kind. . Even if you have to drive a long distance, go to somewhere like the Cleveland Clinic for treatment or in Minnesota, the Mayo Clinic. These are examples, so find the best Heart Hospital around. I am mentioning this because your mom needs special kind of help to combat this high blood pressure. Not some oridinary doctor or even an ordinary Cartiologist.

    It is that important to get treatment right now at the level ive mentioned above.