What Causes High Systolic And Low Diastolic Blood Pressure?

iStock

Question

Asked by kathy barnes

What Causes High Systolic And Low Diastolic Blood Pressure?

My systolic blood pressure is quite high over the course of the day while my diastolic pressures remains low. What causes this? Should I be concerned about the disparity in the numbers?

Answer

The number you are talking about is called the pulse pressure.   The pulse pressure is the difference between systolic and diastolic in the blood pressure reading. When it is elevated, it can indicate several different things.     One common cause of a widened pulse pressure is atherosclerotic or hardened arteries.

Another can be a faulty aortic valve in heart that's allowing blood to flow back into the heart from the aorta (that's the wrong way!).   That sounds scary, I know, but its a fairly common thing.   If you do have aortic regurgitation (as its called in medicine), it is something that you doctor can pick up and monitor.   If your valve gets so bad that you are having symptoms such as light headedness, dizziness, fainting and some other symptoms, the valve can be replaced by a heart surgeon.

There are other causes of widened pulse pressure which include hyperthyroidism and a patent ductus arteriosis.   Sometimes, there is no reason for a widened pulse pressure.   Regardless of the cause, you should discuss your findingh with your physician at an appointment soon for your own piece of mind.

Here are some links you might find useful:

Have High Blood Pressure? Don't Eat These Foods

7 Lifestyle Strategies to Decrease Your Risk of a Blood Clot

How to Find the Best Blood Pressure Monitor