Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

High Blood Pressure

Isolated diastolic blood pressure

12/06/2007

Question:

I am 29 years old male. I started smoking about 6 months ago in order to get rid of chewing tobacco addiction. Now it has been a month that I have quit smoking too. My Blood pressure readings are 120/100 or 120/90 most of the times inspite of taking calcium channel blocker (Calan SR) 1/2 tablet daily. I am also facing other symptoms like palpitations, shortness in breath and dizziness. My doctor says there is noting wrong with my heart after monitoring my ECG. My total cholestrol level came out to be 203 mg/dl. Liver function test was normal. Please give me suggestions to return to healthy life again.

Answer:

Almost all of the risk of elevated blood pressure is due to the systolic pressure (the upper number).  In your case, the systolic is 120, which is normal.  It is not clear, if your elevated diastolic pressure (the lower number) of 90 -100 is associated with increased risk.  In people over age 50, an elevated diastolic blood pressure poses no increase in risk at all.

In a recently published study of 346 people under age 45 who had elevated diastolic pressures and were followed for up to 32 years, no increase in risk was found.

Most experts do not recommend treatment of isolated diastolic hypertension (high diastolic, but normal systolic, which is what you have).  You can relax.  You may want to ask you doctor if you can stop your medication.  It is possible that some or all of your symptoms are due to the Calan and not from your diastolic blood pressure.

For more information:

Go to the High Blood Pressure health topic, where you can:

Response by:

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