During her yearly exam, a woman’s blood pressure is recorded as 146/90. She tells the nurse that her mother and grandmother had hypertension, so it likely runs in her family. Which of the following is the nurse’s best response?

  • “This indicates prehypertension and is nothing to worry about yet. Please come back in a few months and we will check it again.”
  • “Since hypertension runs in your family, this reading is within normal limits.”
  • “This shows that you have stage 2 hypertension. You will likely be prescribed medication today and will also need to see the nutritionist.”
  • “This shows that you have stage 1 hypertension. You may need to take medication and will need to make lifestyle changes as well.”
Number 4 is correct.
Stage 1 hypertension is defined by a systolic level between 140 and 159 mmHg or a diastolic level between 90 and 99 mmHg. A blood pressure reading of 146/90 would be considered stage 1 hypertension and would require further blood pressure monitoring and probable lifestyle changes or medication management. Prehypertension is defined by a systolic reading between 120 and 139 mmHg or diastolic reading between 80 and 89 mmHg. Stage 2 hypertension is noted when systolic pressure is over 160 mmHg and a diastolic level is over 100 mmHg. Even if hypertension runs in the patient’s family, the reading indicates she must address the issue through lifestyle changes and/or medication.