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March 1949


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Pathology, Post-Graduate University, New York University, Bellevue Hospital Medical Center.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1949;83(3):355-362. doi:10.1001/archinte.1949.00220320109009

MOST physicians believe that there is a progressive rise of the arterial tension in normal persons from adolescence to old age. This is expressed by the familiar formula that normal systolic blood pressure should be 100 mm. of mercury plus the age of the individual. The figures compiled by Symonds1 from over 100,000 life insurance applicants (table) indicated a progressive rise of blood pressure from 123.5 mm. of mercury systolic and 79.5 mm. diastolic in the age group 15 to 20 years to 135.2 mm. systolic and 86.9 mm. diastolic in the age group above 60 years. A slight to moderate increase of blood pressure above the popular normal has become of less and less concern.

In a recent study, Masters, Marks and Dack2 advocated raising the normal scale of systolic blood pressure into the 140 mm. to 150 mm. range. One of their main reasons for

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