What Does High Systolic & Low Diastolic Pressure Mean?

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Normal blood pressure ranges from below 140 mm HG systolic and 70 to 90 mm HG diastolic. A high top number, or systolic number, and a low bottom, or diastolic, number indicates a condition called isolated systolic hypertension (IHS).

Blood pressure cuff
Blood pressure cuff (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Diagnosis

Your doctor can achieve diagnosis when your systolic blood pressure is consistently higher than 140 mm HG and your diastolic number remains low.

Diagnosis
Diagnosis (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Symptoms

There are no symptoms associated with isolated systolic blood pressure. However, the condition is a symptom of other underlying diseases such as leaky heart valve and hyperthyroidism.

Consult your doctor
Consult your doctor (Image: Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Risks

The highest risk group for isolated systolic blood pressure includes people over the age of 50. Unresolved isolated systolic blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart disease and dementia.

Risks
Risks (Image: Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Treatment

Diuretics are prescribed to treat all forms of high blood pressure. The National Institute on Aging recommends a healthy, low-sodium diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables to combat ISH.

Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
Eat lots of fruits and vegetables (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Observation

Patients with ISH must monitor their blood pressure. Treatment for ISH can cause the diastolic number to drop dangerously low, posing the risk of heart attack. The Mayo Clinic advises ISH patients to keep the diastolic number between 70 and 80 to prevent this complication.

Observation
Observation (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

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