Is High Diastolic Worse Than High Systolic Blood Pressure?

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Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is an extremely common and dangerous ailment. Accounting for over 41 million visits to hospitals and physician's offices every year, this is a prevalent condition that requires an understanding of symptoms, diagnosis and treatments.

High blood pressure is a common and dangerous ailment.
High blood pressure is a common and dangerous ailment. (Image: nyul/iStock/Getty Images)

High Blood Pressure

Blood travels throughout the body through a series of arteries and capillaries. Forced to move by the heart, any excess pressure from the heart results in an abnormal amount of stress on the artery walls, allowing for the measurement of higher levels of blood pressure.

When you have high blood pressure, the heart has to work harder to pump blood throughout the body.
When you have high blood pressure, the heart has to work harder to pump blood throughout the body. (Image: Piotr Adamowicz/iStock/Getty Images)

Diastolic Readings

Reading a diastolic pressure result will tell the state of blood pressure within the body while the heart is relaxed or in-between beats.

Diastolic readings show the blood pressure while the heart is relaxed.
Diastolic readings show the blood pressure while the heart is relaxed. (Image: Alexander Raths/iStock/Getty Images)

Systolic Readings

Reading a systolic pressure result will tell the state of blood pressure within the body while the heart is contracting and causing blood to circulate.

Systolic readings tell the state of blood pressure within the body while the heart is contracting.
Systolic readings tell the state of blood pressure within the body while the heart is contracting. (Image: Fuse/Fuse/Getty Images)

Danger and Age

Whether diastolic or systolic is more dangerous is dependent upon age. As a youth, diastolic is more important to use as a sign of risk for hypertension as youths have lower levels of systolic pressure. As people age, systolic pressure increases, while diastolic decreases making systolic readings more useful as a sign of risk for hypertension.

The importance of diastolic and systolic readings change based on age.
The importance of diastolic and systolic readings change based on age. (Image: AndreyPopov/iStock/Getty Images)

Diagnosis and Treatment

Treatment of hypertension is extremely important at any age as it can lead to an early stage heart attack and/or stroke as well as an assortment of other medical conditions. Routine medical checkups are key to diagnosing hypertension early.

Getting medical check ups regularly are important to diagnosing hypertension early.
Getting medical check ups regularly are important to diagnosing hypertension early. (Image: Alexander Raths/iStock/Getty Images)

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