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High Blood Pressure

Causes for high DBP v. high SBP

10/08/2007

Question:

Is it possible for one to have a high diastolic BP and normal systolic BP? If so, what would be the reason for this? In other words, what would cause someone to have a high DBP versus a high SBP? Thank you.

Answer:

Isolated diastolic hypertension (IDH, high diastolic and normal systolic blood pressure) is found in about 10% of all people with hypertension.  Most of the individuals with IDH are under the age of 45.  IDH may be the result of elevated resistance in the small peripheral arteries.  Systolic hypertension is caused by an increase in the resistance of the large arteries

Whatever the cause, IDH is benign and does not increase cardiovascular risk.  Most experts do not prescribe treatment for IDH.

Isolated systolic hypertension, or combined systolic and diastolic hypertension are cardiovascular risk factors and require treatment.

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Response by:

Max C Reif, MD Max C Reif, MD
Professor of Medicine
Director of Hypertension Section
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati