Diastolic Hypertension Ruled The Roost--
for many years but ohhh brother How things have changed. Diastolic hypertension still prevails in the younger ages but in middle age it’s Systolic and later it’s Pulse Pressure Read more surprises:
Note: Pulse Pressure is the difference between the systolic and diastolic pressures.
What Is Diastolic Blood Pressure?
The lowest level to which the blood pressure falls between heartbeats. It makes up the second and lowest number of our familiar designation for blood pressure such as 120 over 80. Obviously, 80 is the diastolic.
From What Does It Come?
When the heart beats it pushes blood out into the very large blood vessels. These vessels are elastic and take up some of the force by expanding. Then while the heart rests between beats the large vessels contract towards their normal size thus continuing to push blood around the body. In this way the blood pressure does not drop to zero between beats.
What Is Diastolic Hypertension?
Diastolic hypertension is an undesirable elevation of the lowest of the two blood pressure numbers, that is the pressure between heartbeats. The desirable level of diastolic is about 75 mm Hg. Any rise above that number is associated with an increase in adverse events. An approximate guideline is this:
Every 10 mm rise in diastolic pressure causes a doubling of incidence of adverse events such as heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and heart failure.
This is an exponential increase. Very impressive! Not compatible with long and healthy life.
(Note:) For systolic elevations, it takes a 20 mm Hg rise to double the incidence. Thus every 20 mm rise in systolic pressure doubles the incidence of adverse events. Another exponential increase.
Diastolic Hypertension and Age Groups:
Elsewhere on this website you can read that we began measuring blood pressure only about one hundred years ago. Until the last several decades the medical profession thought that diastolic pressure was the most important predictor of outcome. Recent studies have shown however that elevation of either systolic or diastolic alone is just as bad as if both are elevated.
Furthermore, the most recent studies have demonstrated these findings:
At age less than 50 the diastolic is probably the most important predictor of adverse outcome. Bear in mind though that not many of the adverse events occur in this age group.
At age 50-59 systolic pressure takes over as the most important predictor.
At 60 and over, believe it or not, the pulse pressure is paramount. See this page Pulse Pressure
Doctor’s Practical Guide
Now we’ve learned that diastolic hypertension is not the most important aspect of high blood pressure in general and also that it is not to be ignored either.
We’ve also learned that by age 50 systolic becomes the most important and at 60 and over a new number, the Pulse Pressure, takes over.
Let’s take a test. Which blood pressure would be the most desirable for a 65 y/o person, 170/70 or 170/110? Surprisingly, 170/110 is best. That is because the 170/70 has a pulse pressure of 100 as opposed to only 60 for the other pressure. Even though the 110 diastolic represents diastolic hypertension the other reading with a 100 pulse pressure doubles the risk of heart attack, stroke, etc, independently.
So forget the old adage that your BP should be 100 plus your age. This was actually taught in medical schools. Nonsense. Just realize that recommendations change as we learn so try to keep up. This website should help a lot. See this page Normal Blood Pressure
What should you do?
First: Learn to take your own blood pressure. With the modern digital monitor it’s put your arm in the cuff and press the button. That’s IT That is all there is to the mechanics.
Second: Read the good advice on this website about controlling your pressure yourself, and for free.
Third: Enjoy your new healthy life-style and extended outlook.
Read How To Take Blood Pressure Also read Herbs That Lower Blood Pressure
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