High Diastolic Blood Pressure Risks

If you've got high diastolic blood pressure, you may be concerned about the health risks associated with a high blood pressure condition. There are several lifestyle changes you can make to manage your high blood pressure, some of which are relatively painless.

There are several different types of blood pressure, so it's important to differentiate between the types. High diastolic blood pressure is called diastolic hypertension. This is when your diastolic blood pressure is above 90/mmHg and your systolic blood pressure is lower than 120/mmHg. If you have high diastolic blood pressure, your doctor may refer to it generically as high blood pressure and may suggest treatments that are similar to the more common high systolic and diastolic blood pressure, but you should rest assured that people with high diastolic blood pressure are actually at lower risk for some of the more serious health consequences of traditional high blood pressure. While you will still need to manage your blood pressure, you can be reassured by recent studies that your situation is not as threatening as traditional blood pressure problems.

The most pressing health risk concern for high blood pressure patients is increased risk for stroke. However, it appears that recent studies are concluding that high systolic blood pressure is a better predictor for stroke, and that high diastolic blood pressure, when systolic blood pressure is normal, is not a predictor of stroke. Research is still in the early stages, so it's best to act preventively and make suggested lifestyle changes and take prescribed medication.

The Copenhagen City Heart Study, which assessed risk for stroke of 6,545 high blood pressure patients, concluded that patients with isolated high diastolic blood pressure were not at increased risk for stroke once other factors such as smoking, obesity and heart disease were taken into account. Another study, performed by the Department of Epidemiology and Social Medicine of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of the Bronx, NY concluded similarly that elevated diastolic blood pressure, when accompanied by low or normal systolic blood pressure, was not a reliable predictor of elevated risk of stroke. A third study, titled the Osahama study, conducted by the Department of Public Health of Tohoku University School of Medicine, concluded that risk of heart problems was linked to high systolic blood pressure, not isolated high diastolic blood pressure. All of these studies bode well for those with diastolic hypertension.

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