Need advice regarding Isolated Systolic Hypertension

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All my adult life until my late 50s I had a BP of 90/60 (and when pregnant it dropped even lower but with no side effects!).  Now, aged 67, my systolic has risen to 140-160 depending on time of day, etc. that BP is checked, byt my diastolic remains around 60-65 so has not risen proportionally.   Do I need to start medication, and what is the best kind for me?   I don't want to lower my diastolic any more as it has always been low.  I am a non-smoker, not overweight, eat healthily, seldom drink more alcohol than the daily recommended amount, exercise daily (though probably not as much as I ought!) and apart from my crazy BP seem to be in pretty good health.

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  • Posted

    Hi Pauline, that's unusual for systolic to rise and not dystolic if even for a small amount, are these home readings or at surgery, if there home readings have you contacted surgery and got them to give you advice.

    Has this just risen for a few days, have you been I'll or anxious, its the systolic that jumps up with me if I'm a bit off but I am prone to white coat syndrome

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    • Posted

      Hi Alexandria, There have been a number of studies over the past 10 years or so on Isolated Systolic Hypertension. Google the Rotterdam study. It's quite common among the elderly, and several studies have indicated a slightly increased risk of heart attack and stroke in cases of ISH.

      My own doctor is not too concerned about it and doesn't feel it needs treating, as all BP meds reduce diastolic as well. He's perfectly happy to let things rest, as long as I get six-monthly check-ups. I also monitor my BP at home, and it goes all over the place sometimes.

      As stated in my post of a few minutes ago, I am happy to take the possible risk of not taking BP meds for the time being, and my doctor supports me in this. He has, however, suggested I slightly up the amount of exercise I do.

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  • Posted

    Hi Pauline, I had ISH for a couple of years too, around the age of 70. On one occasion my BP was 150/60 in my doctor's office. He said there are some studies out there that indicate an increased risk of stroke and heart attack, but he wasn't particularly worried about them. He was more concerned about the fact that all BP meds lower the diastolic as well, and felt this was dangerous in the elderly, as it increased the risk of falls.

    In the past year or two my diastolic has been moving up too, but my doctor is still in no rush to put me on BP meds and I'm in no rush to take them. I don't want swollen ankles and ulcerated legs, thank you.

    We're all different but my view is that some risks are worth taking. Slightly raised BP (of whichever kind) falls into that category for me.

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    • Posted

      I agree, and to be honest years ago they added 10 for every ten years after 40, I think that's correct so at 40 systolic would be 130 at 50 it would be 140 and so on, so at 70 you could have a bp of 160 and no meds unless you had other risks, now its let's medicate.

      I went drs the other day and was really up there LOL and it was 121/73 at home and 190/90 in surgery, he just knew it was anxiety and when I got home and chilled it was back to normal after about 15 mins.

      Some DR's would medicate but my practice are more realistic and know its not going to be the same 24/7 especially as we get older.

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  • Posted

    Hi Pauline, this is a bit tricky as your diastolic is quite low, I can understand why your a bit apprehensive about starting meds. Before considering anything like that, you could do some homework and find supplements that decrease systolic BP, but don't affect diastolic readings. I have came across supplements like this and it would be a healthier option if it worked. I can't remember offhand what supplements can do this, but they do exist. I had such a bad time on BP meds, that I will never take them again, I'm trying the natural way and dealing with it myself.

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