The Importance of Systolic Blood Pressure in Overall Health
Your blood pressure is monitored through the use of two different numbers that can give your doctor plenty of good information about the health of your heart and cardiovascular system. The top number that is used is known as the systolic blood pressure, and it measures the amount of pressure that the blood uses when the heart is beating. The second number is the diastolic pressure, and measures the pressure of the blood when the heart is at rest. In most cases, when the systolic pressure is elevated, the diastolic number will be raised as well. However, there are some circumstances where the systolic blood pressure number will be the only one that goes up, and this is known as isolated systolic high blood pressure.
The normal range for blood pressure in most people is considered to be around 120/80. If the systolic number rises above 140 and the diastolic pressure goes up to 90, a person may be diagnosed with hypertension or high blood pressure. High blood pressure can be a dangerous condition, since it can increase the risk of health problems like stroke, heart disease and kidney disease. Because of this, it is important to treat high blood pressure seriously, and seek treatment when the numbers get too high. This is true when both the systolic and diastolic numbers are up, as well as when the systolic blood pressure is the only one to rise.
What is the Cause of Isolated Systolic High Blood Pressure?
Most of the cases of isolated systolic high blood pressure are found in elderly patients, and is usually the result of stiffening of the arteries through the aging process. While isolated systolic high blood pressure used to be considered fairly harmless, new research is showing that this condition can actually increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and an enlarged heart. Studies have also shown that lowering the systolic blood pressure can indeed reduce these risk factors considerably. Because of this new information within the medical community, isolated systolic high blood pressure is receiving more attention by many health care professionals, and is being treated accordingly today.
Your systolic blood pressure readings can tell your doctor much about your overall health and the health of your cardiovascular system. It is important that you stay on top of all of your blood pressure readings, so that you can alert your doctor to any changes or rises in your blood pressure numbers. For most people, an annual blood pressure check should be sufficient, but any changes to your blood pressure numbers should be checked more frequently and treated accordingly.