Study Says Both Systolic And Diastolic BP Readings Are Essential For Predicting Heart Health

For decades now, systolic blood pressure has been considered more important than diastolic blood pressure. This has led several to underestimate the value of the lower blood pressure digits. Some even argue that you can ignore diastolic numbers.

Systolic pressure is the upper number that tells how hard the heart is pumping blood into the arteries. The lower number measures diastolic blood pressure. It indicates the pressure on the arteries when between beats, the heart rests.

A new study contradicts that systolic blood pressure is of more importance than diastolic blood pressure in predicting heart health. It says that both values of blood pressure hint at the risk of heart attack or stroke.

New Study – Both Blood Pressure Readings Matter

The New England Journal of Medicine has published this report. The large Kaiser Permanente study comprised of 36 million blood pressure readings from 1.3 million people. These readings were taken during the years 2007 to 2016. Participants were Kaiser Permanente members in Northern California.

This is the largest study of its kind. It was conducted by taking cofounding factors into account. The research work said that both systolic and diastolic readings predicted the risk of heart attack and stroke. This was regardless of the definition of blood pressure used. However, systolic blood pressure did have a stronger impact.

The report supports the change in guidelines that American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association has made. It recommended that tighter blood pressure control must be kept on high risk patients who have hypertension.

What Did The Researchers Say?

Alexander C. Flint, lead author of the study said, “This research brings a large amount of data to bear on a basic question, and it gives such a clear answer.” He continued, “Every way you slice the data, the systolic and diastolic pressures are both important.” These findings are important with regards to the health of patients who struggle with elevated blood pressure levels.

How High Blood Pressure Levels Are Bright Under Control

When blood pressure markers exceed their limits, patients come under higher risk of cardiovascular disease and related ailments. Medications control hypertension. Doctors also suggest some important lifestyle changes.

Most importantly, it is essential for consume a low-salt diet. Foods that increase cholesterol which builds up and blocks arteries must also be avoided. Exercise is a must as it improves heart health and hypertension. It also prevents obesity which is a risk factor for heart-related and many other illnesses. 1 in 3 US adults have high blood pressure.

Key Takeaway

A new study says that it is incorrect to ignore diastolic blood pressure readings. Though systolic blood pressure has a bigger impact on determining health, both predict risk of heart attack and stroke. This study supports some recent studies. Since researchers conducted this study on a large scale, it is reliable.