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Monday, January 19, 2009 misswoofalot, Community Member, asks

Q: high systolic low diastolic blood presure 145/55!!

I am concerned as my blood pressure is usually low, around 110/55 but the systolic has gone up to 145 and diastolic is 55. This is a massive difference as one is high and the other is low. What could cause this|?

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Answers (2)
Neil MD, Health Pro
1/19/09 6:39pm

Hello misswoofalot,


The difference you are talking about it called the pulse pressure.  It is the difference between your systolic and diastolic blood pressure; essentially, the difference between when your heart is most contracted and most relaxed.


An increased pulse pressure can mean several things.  Before you worry too much about it, I would have your pressure checked manually by a health professional.  Automatic cuffs, while giving a good estimate of blood pressure are not as accurate as the human ear.


That being said, if your pulse pressure is actually high there are several different disease that your doctor may consider investigating.  These include valvular diseases of the heart(aortic regurgitation), diffusely stiff blood vessels seen in widespread arteriosclerosis, hyperthyroidism, and arteriovenous malformations (think of these as "short circuits" of the vascular system).  All of these require an accurate medical history, a thorough physical exam, blood work, EKGs, and/or imaging studies for diagnosis. 


Be sure to discuss your blood pressure concerns with your physician at an appointment soon!


To your health,

Neil MD



Evelyn Harris, Community Member
8/14/09 7:34pm

My blood pressure has been 121/55 or 54 for 3 days.  What is causing low diastolic.  I am 75 yr. old female and presently take meds.

Evelyn Harris

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By misswoofalot, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/13/12, First Published: 01/19/09