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High Blood Pressure

High diastolic blood pressure

06/02/2008

Question:

My family doctor prescribed Benicar 20 mg for me two weeks ago. My systolic is now at 117 but the diastolic is staying at 84 to 86. Is this normal?

Answer:

The current guidelines consider a blood pressure of 120/80 to be normal.  For patients over the age of 50, all the risk of heart disease and stroke is linked to the systolic pressure (the upper number).  The diastolic pressure (the lower number) is a measure for arterial stiffness, but is not directly linked to risk.

In other words, if your systolic blood pressure is 117, you don't have to worry about the diastolic blood pressure of 84 to 86.  It appears that Benicar is working well for you.

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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