On the subject of sustaining high blood pressure, doctors usually focus on the top number. However, a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine says both numbers matter.
Your systolic blood pressure – or the top number – represents how hard the heart works to pump blood into the arteries. The diastolic blood pressure – or bottom number – indicates the pressure within the arteries when the heart rests between beats.
A group of researchers at Kaiser Permanente in California, Brigham and Ladies’ Hospital and Harvard Medical College checked out knowledge on extra 1.3 million American adults.
They discovered that elevations in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure had been independently related to a better risk for heart attack and stroke, although systolic blood pressure had a more significant impact.
That said, the researchers say both numbers are essential and in otherwise healthy adults, the lower the numbers, the better.
Blood pressure is known as the force of blood flowing via your blood vessels, based on the American Heart Association. When your heart beats, it pumps blood all through the body’s blood vessels. As the blood moves through the body, it pushes towards the sides of the blood vessels. The force of that push is blood pressure.
Blood pressure is measured with two numbers: systolic pressure (the top number) and diastolic pressure (the bottom number). A blood pressure reading of 120/80 mm Hg means that the systolic pressure is 120, and the diastolic pressure is 80.
Systolic refers to the pressure in an individual’s arteries when the heartbeats. Diastolic is the pressure within the arteries when the heart is resting between beats.
The newest guidelines say stage one hypertension begins at 130/80.