Isolated Systolic hypertension

November 12, 2012

Isolated Systolic hypertension

Isolated systolic hypertension is the condition in which only the systolic blood pressure in high. In is the most common for of high blood pressure in older people.


High blood pressure refers to the force in which blood is pushing against the blood vessels as it flows around the body. If too much force is being applied, then the individual has high blood pressure or hypertension. Measurement for blood pressure is taken at two times, once when the heart is relaxed and once when it is beating. The former is known as diastolic blood pressure and the later is known as systolic blood pressure. When the only result that comes back as high is the systolic measurement (the pressure when the heart takes a beat) the condition is called isolated systolic hypertension. To measure blood pressure a device is used called a sphygmomanometer. It goes around your arm and is then inflated. As the air is released blood pressure can be read from the attached gauge. Blood pressure is written in the form of a fraction and a normal blood pressure looks like 120/80. The top number is systolic blood pressure and underneath is the diastolic measurement.

Causes and treatments

Although a direct cause is unknown there are many factors that can contribute to the development of isolated systolic hypertension such as:

  • Age

  • Being overweight

  • Smoking

  • Having diabetes

The condition is also thought to affect Caucasian males and African Americans most commonly and the chances of developing it increase with age in all individuals. However there are people who suffer from isolated systolic hypertension and are not affected by any of the previously mentioned risk factors. There are not really any noticeable symptoms of the condition and many people have it for years before they happen to have their blood pressure checked. Once isolated systolic hypertension has been identified, your doctor can offer advice on how to go about lowering your blood pressure and will want to monitor it regularly. In order to bring blood pressure down, medication may be required or a change to lifestyle. Reducing the amount of salt in the diet can have significant affects as can losing weight if you are overweight. If left untreated for a long period of time serious complications could occur including a stroke, heart attack, kidney damage, blindness and numerous other health problems.


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