I debated where to put this post (over 35 thread, off topic, etc) so I decided here would be as good as any since I think this topic includes a few different subject areas.
My systolic blood pressure reading is by no means alarmingly high but it's high enough, frequently enough that it got me thinking, researching, etc.
I have a home blood pressure reading kit that tends to track well with the doc's office, CVS pharmacy machine, etc. I tend to read anywhere from 135 to 148 on the systolic whereas the diastolic tends to read in the good range of mid 70s.
I've learned over time that trying to keep my estradiol level in a tight range where I feel good (which I think is somewhere in the 25 to 35 pg/ml range for me) is somewhat of a moving target based on multiple factors that I'm still learning to ferret out. All that being said, I do notice (which is not surprising) that when my estradiol levels rise, so does my systolic blood pressure reading.
But even when I estradiol levels are in a "good" range, my systolic still reads somewhat high for medical community standards (> than 140). I also happen to have built some pretty muscular arms (approximately 18.5 inches). I've done quite a bit of research that states a larger cuff size is important when measuring blood pressure for someone who has larger arms (which the medical community defines somewhere over 16" in circumference).
Even with the larger cuff size, my systolic still reads in the high 130s to high 140s most of the time however.
I do have a sneaking suspicion that the make up of your arm (size and the percentage of muscle to fat) has some direct correlation to producing higher "false" systolic readings based on my own intutive sense and some posts I've seen around these parts and around the web.
Unfortunately there has not been a lot of studies as far as I can tell about the accuracy of blood pressure readings for someone with very dense, muscular arms. I do remember hearing or reading that in one case a medical professional could not even obtain a blood pressure reading for a patient that was severely obese. This makes sense to me that the "makeup" of your arm would have some direct influence over the type of reading you would get. How then do you ever get an accurate reading if you happen to either have a) very fat arms or b) very large muscular arms?
I do notice that when I get into single digit bodyfat that the systolic reading tends to be a bit more spotty where it can read as low as 117 for the systolic all the way up to the mid 130s.
As I guy who is interested in building a fine physique into old age AND maintaining health as long as possible, should I be even the least bit concerned about systolic readings in the 135 to 148 range when I'm not in ripped summer condition?
What say you T-Nation experts?