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Old 02-25-2007, 08:58 AM   #1
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Difference between Systolic and Diastolic numbers

I have heard a lot about the significance of high or low blood pressure, but what is the significance of the difference between the Systolic and Diastolic figures themselves.

For example we are told that 120/80 would be a good figure to aim at, but I tend to get figures that are more like 130/70. It averages out to the same number, but it is a wider spread than the 'ideal' figure. Is this a good thing, or not?

Conversely supposing someone had a narrower spread, such as, say, 110/90. What would that signify?

By the way, the reading that I mention for myself is only what it is as a result of the medication that I take, that is a combination of Atenolol and Ramipril. Before I was on the medication if I had been measured using as old style gauge the mercury would have squirted out of the top!

 
Old 02-25-2007, 01:43 PM   #2
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Re: Difference between Systolic and Diastolic numbers

The difference between the systolic and the diastolic readings appears to be an indicator of stiffness and inflammation in the blood-vessel walls. It seems the greater the difference between systolic and diastolic numbers, the stiffer and more injured the vessels are thought to be.

Evidence is suggesting that it may prove to be a strong predictor of heart problems, particularly in older adults. Some studies suggest that in people over 45 years old, every 10-mm Hg increase in pulse pressure increases the risk for stroke increases by 11%, cardiovascular disease by 10%, and overall mortality by 16%. (In younger adults the risks are even higher.)

 
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Old 02-26-2007, 03:43 AM   #3
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Re: Difference between Systolic and Diastolic numbers

[ Quote: Conversely supposing someone had a narrower spread, such as, say, 110/90. What would that signify? ]

My son has this problem and even worse - 105/95 & 110/100. I would like to know what it means also. He is 35, weighs 165, works very hard, smokes, and he's not on meds. His Doctor said he would scedule some tests on his heart and to cut out sugar and fried foods, but has never set up the testing, so my son figured everything was OK. I wonder; Is It?
enie

Last edited by enie; 02-26-2007 at 03:44 AM. Reason: forgot something

 
Old 02-26-2007, 07:52 AM   #4
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Re: Difference between Systolic and Diastolic numbers

The first and higher number (systolic) appears to be a significant indicator (if high) for heart complications, including death, in all ages, but especially in middle-aged and older adults. Often elevated systolic pressure may pose a significant danger for heart events and stroke events even when diastolic is normal. This condition is referred to as isolated systolic hypertension . The wider the spread between the systolic and diastolic measurements, the greater the danger. Isolated systolic hypertension is the most common form of hypertension in people older than fifty; in one study it comprised 87% of hypertension cases in people between ages 50 and 59.


High diastolic pressure (the second and lower number) is a strong predictor of heart attack and stroke in young adults and in people of any age with essential hypertension (sustained elevated diastolic usually accompained with increase in systolic). This is high blood pressure from unknown causes and occurs in the great majority of cases.

 
Old 02-26-2007, 12:19 PM   #5
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Re: Difference between Systolic and Diastolic numbers

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenkeith View Post
The difference between the systolic and the diastolic readings appears to be an indicator of stiffness and inflammation in the blood-vessel walls. It seems the greater the difference between systolic and diastolic numbers, the stiffer and more injured the vessels are thought to be.

Evidence is suggesting that it may prove to be a strong predictor of heart problems, particularly in older adults. Some studies suggest that in people over 45 years old, every 10-mm Hg increase in pulse pressure increases the risk for stroke increases by 11%, cardiovascular disease by 10%, and overall mortality by 16%. (In younger adults the risks are even higher.)
Thanks for the info, even though it isn't particularly reassuring for me!

I guess that I am doing the right thing by having my formerly high BP brought down, keeping my weight down, exercising etc. All the more important I suppose, given that my blood vessels are in all probability stiff and imflamed!

 
Old 03-01-2007, 01:34 PM   #6
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Re: Difference between Systolic and Diastolic numbers

I get readings like that, My diastolic is always low like 68-75 but my doc said im fine.. my Systolic is easily affected by stress and diet so he's willing to keep the Diastolic a little low to control my Sytolic which unmedicated can go through the roof. For the record my buddy who is a professinal fighter and is tip top condtion had strange readings on my old BP monitor so make sure yours aint messed up or inaccurare. I was getting crazy readings like 147/58 so when my buddy was over i was like "hey your in peak human condition let me see if my BP monitor is accurate." it was like 142/64 and he was like "throw that thing in the trash. my BP is always 120/80"

 
Old 03-01-2007, 02:18 PM   #7
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Re: Difference between Systolic and Diastolic numbers

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Originally Posted by Gimli View Post
For the record my buddy who is a professinal fighter and is tip top condtion had strange readings on my old BP monitor so make sure yours aint messed up or inaccurare. I was getting crazy readings like 147/58 so when my buddy was over i was like "hey your in peak human condition let me see if my BP monitor is accurate." it was like 142/64 and he was like "throw that thing in the trash. my BP is always 120/80"
In my case the readings are genuine. I have two BP monitors (one each of wrist and arm type) which give consistent readings and also readings taken by my doctor are similar.

 
Old 03-01-2007, 03:23 PM   #8
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Re: Difference between Systolic and Diastolic numbers

Quote:
I was getting crazy readings like 147/58 so when my buddy was over i was like "hey your in peak human condition let me see if my BP monitor is accurate." it was like 142/64 and he was like "throw that thing in the trash. my BP is always 120/80"
It is an inaccurate measurement to always have a reading of 120/80, and that would indicate a faulty monitor. You could compare your BP unit's accuracy with your doctor's monitor on your next visit.

 
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