The bottom number in a blood pressure levels reading (the diastolic pressure) has sometimes played second fiddle to the top number (systolic) in clinical settings, but new research confirms that both numbers are very important in determining an individual’s heart disease risk.
The study, from researchers at Kaiser Permanente in California, was published Wednesday when you look at the New England Journal of Medicine.
“Although systolic does count for a bit more in terms associated with threat of coronary attack and stroke, diastolic raised blood pressure is a detailed second, and it’s really a completely independent predictor of those risks,” said lead author Dr. Alexander Flint, a stroke specialist with Kaiser Permanente.
A top diastolic number “really really should not be ignored,” he added. “We should not declare victory simply because one number is under control. We must look closely at both.”
Systolic refers to the level of pressure in an individual’s arteries, once the heart squeezes and sends blood through the entire body. Diastolic is the pressure in the arteries between heart beats.
The research analyzed more than 36 million blood pressure readings from 1.3 million adults. All were people in Kaiser Permanente in Northern California. Most were white; just 7.5 percent were black.
For bloof pressure both numbers matter, https://www.nbcnews.com/health/heart-health/healthy-blood-pressure-both-numbers-matter-n1030851