BP Basics

What is Diastolic hypertension? 

Blood pressure is the force of the blood on the walls of the arteries. Generally speaking, blood pressure indicates the force that the heart has to work with, in order to pump blood.

An example of the normal reading of blood pressure is 120/90 mm Hg. The numerator is the force when the heart beats or contracts and the denominator is the force when the heart rests. The numerator is called systolic pressure which is the maximum pressure experienced by the walls of the arteries or blood vessels. The denominator is  the minimum force experienced by the arteries. It is known as diastolic pressure.

When either of these two readings rises above their normal range, the condition is termed as high blood pressure.

Until now, people were concerned with systolic blood pressure and tried to take all possible steps to reduce it, however, the recent studies have shifted their attention to diastolic hypertension as well.

It has been found that high blood pressure patients of more than 60-65 years of age have considerably higher diastolic readings along with high systolic readings. High diastolic blood pressure is a matter of concern as it may lead to more serious complications than high systolic blood pressure.

Constantly high diastolic pressure increases the risk of heart damage, brain damage and kidney problems. Diastolic hypertension needs to be checked and managed.

Normally when a person has high blood pressure, the diastolic blood pressure remains normal. It does not increase more than 90mm of Hg. However if the diastolic pressure also increases along with systolic pressure, it is a matter of greater concern than just high systolic pressure.

Then the prime concern of the doctors remains in bringing down diastolic readings so that the patient does not suffer from severe heart attack or stroke. They try to reduce the level to 90mm of Hg and keep away the risks of diastolic hypertension.

If the patient suffering from higher diastolic pressure has other additional problems like diabetes or renal insufficiency then the doctors try to reduce the diastolic level to 80 or lower than that.