Blood Pressure Readings: Which Is More Important and Should Be Closely Monitored


In our earlier article about blood pressure, we discussed what exactly hypertension is, what blood pressure readings signify, and how it can be analyzed. When the heart exerts force, the blood pressure goes up and this is called systolic pressure. When the heart pauses after one beat, the blood pressure in the arteries to drop their lowest, and this is called diastolic pressure. 

Throughout medical history, diastolic pressure has been analysed for purposes of hypertension treatments. But 30 to 40 years ago, studies started pointing to the importance of systolic blood pressure and recent studies have further backed this thought. 

Debunking Hypertension Myths

Why Should Systolic Blood Pressure Be More Closely Monitored?

According to  Dr. Howard LeWine, M.D., Editor in Chief, Harvard Men’s Health Watch,

“Most studies show a greater risk of stroke and heart disease related to higher systolic pressures compared with elevated diastolic pressures. That’s especially true in people ages 50 and older, which is why doctors tend to monitor the top number more closely. The reason for the difference in risk may be related to the force put on the arteries when blood rushes out of the heart.”

Recent and continuing studies now point to the fact that systolic blood pressure increases progressively with age, and this is the most common reason for hypertension. When systolic and diastolic pressure readings were analysed as predictors of risk, it was revealed that the former is more effective.

This means that isolated systolic hypertension can better predict complication risks. The current understanding from these studies is that hypertension treatment should focus more on systolic blood pressure, but taking both readings into consideration can help prevent complication. 

Another additional metric has emerged from the recent studies on hypertension and that is called pulse pressure. It is the value derived from subtracting diastolic pressure from systolic pressure and is an indicator of cardiovascular health. Just like systolic blood pressure, pulse pressure also increases with age. It has also emerged as a signifier of stiffening in large arteries and can indicate cardiovascular problems. 

Summing Up…

While it is necessary to consistently monitor your systolic and diastolic pressure, systolic pressure is what is often taken into account by doctors. It can help indicate any preventable complications. The usage of at home blood pressure devices can help simplify this monitoring, and the associated digital health app can keep a close track of your readings. 

With Phable, your doctor can also be kept in the loop of your blood pressure timeline. 

Phable is an innovative lifestyle disease management app simplifying life for patients & doctors through video consultations and remote healthcare.

Download Phable Here!