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In isolated systolic high blood pressure (isolated systolic
hypertension, or ISH),
systolic blood pressure is elevated (above 140 mm Hg),
diastolic blood pressure stays below 90 mm Hg. This
type of high blood pressure is more common in older adults, especially older
women. In fact, the majority of people older than 60 who have hypertension have
isolated systolic hypertension.
If you are older than 50, a
systolic blood pressure over 140 mm Hg is an important risk factor for stroke
and heart disease.
ISH can cause damage to organs such as the
kidneys, brain, heart, or eyes. And it should be treated.
Treatment includes lifestyle changes and medicines that lower blood pressure. Medicines include:
The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH)
diet is effective for treating isolated systolic hypertension. For more information, see:
Other Works Consulted
Aronow WS, et al. (2011). ACCF/AHA 2011 Expert consensus document on hypertension in the elderly: A report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation Task Force on Clinical Expert Consensus Documents. Circulation, 123(21): 2434–2506.
November 12, 2012
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology
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