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 Dr. George Jacob
Heart Infocenter

Holistic-online.com

Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

Isolated Systolic Hypertension (ISH)

When your systolic pressure (force of blood in the arteries as the heart beats; top number in a blood pressure reading) is 140 and higher; but your diastolic pressure (second number in a blood pressure reading) is normal the condition is called "isolated systolic hypertension," or ISH.

This is the most common form of high blood pressure for older persons. For most people, systolic blood pressure increases with age, while diastolic increases until about age 55 and then declines. About 65 percent of people with high blood pressure over age 60 have ISH. You may have ISH and feel fine. As with other types of high blood pressure, ISH often causes no symptoms.

If left uncontrolled, high systolic pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack, congestive heart failure, kidney damage, blindness, or other conditions. While it cannot be cured once it has developed, ISH can be controlled.

Clinical studies have proven that treating a high systolic pressure saves lives, greatly reduces illness, and improves the quality of life. Yet, most people do not have their high systolic pressure under control.

Treatment options for ISH are the same as for other types of high blood pressure, in which both systolic and diastolic pressures are high. ISH is treated with lifestyle changes and/or medications. The key for any high blood pressure treatment is to bring the condition under proper control. Blood pressure should be controlled to less than 140/90 mm Hg.

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