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High Blood Pressure

High diastolic, Low pulse pressure

05/06/2008

Question:

My 17 year old son is a high school basketball player and is in good cardiovascular health. His blood pressure is consistantly 110/90. Should we be concerned?

Answer:

Most of the cardiovascular risk is linked to the systolic blood pressure (the upper number), especially in people over age 50.  In younger people, such as your son, an elevated diastolic blood pressure (the lower number) increases risk when associated with a high systolic blood pressure.

The current guidelines describe normal blood pressure as 120/80 or lower.  Your son has a normal systolic blood pressure and would be classified as having isolated diastolic hypertension (IHD).

IHD is not associated with increased risk and does not 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