which is important: Systolic reading or diastolic reading

Posted , 5 users are following.

I have always paid attention to the diastolic reading, but is it true that they like the systolic reading below certain figure?

​I have always aimed to have the diastolic below 80, but my systolic is sometimes above 125. What should the reading be for normal BP?

​Also, if I measure my BP soon after exercise, it is higher as expected, but how long should I rest before taking the BP reading? The other extreme is taking the reading soon after meditation; naturally this will be low, but does that count?


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5 Replies

  • Posted

    120/80 I think is still the benchmark for "normal", at least when under age 50.  A few points either way on either reading means nothing at all, not for individual readings, and hardly any more even if they average that way for weeks.  Simply trying a different meter will probably change readings five points in random directions.

    You'd like both readings to rise and fall together, stay in the same ratio.  If the difference gets too large or too small, one should start asking questions.

    After exercise you might wait 30 minutes, even though it can take hours or even days to return to "normal", depending on just how vigorous your exercise has been.  The low numbers after meditation "count", but you have to use your judgment as to what they mean.  I go out and sunbathe now and then, and it can give me a mild case of heat prostration, much lower readings, for thirty minutes or so, slowly rising back to "normal", or whatever passes for normal for me.

  • Posted

    My BP is about 130/90 (medicated) - I'm 45 and about 2st overweight.  When I exercise however, normally indoor cycling followed by a quick sauna, after waiting an hour or so, my BP goes to 105-115/70-80 and stays there for the rest of the day/evening.

    I get the odd high reading in the 140s over 100s - if I take my BP right after work for instance, and I've learned to relax my breathing, which also drops my numbers.  Managing my stress levels are key, I'm a teacher and so term time brings spikes and holidays bring normality.  I currently take 2 tablets, and I'm trying to lose the 2st so I can get down to one tablet, or hopefully none.

    I've always been more concerned with the systolic number, as that hit 190 at one point before, but my diastolic has always been in the 80s-90s.

  • Posted

    I have essential hypertension which was treated with a diuretic for 25yrs but after developing persistent AF my BP went haywire. They have now added a selective beta blocker which I can only tolerate at half a dose (nevibolol 2.5mg) I now have 132/88 and 60-90BPMand they are happy with that .I am 73yrs.

  • Posted


    There’s too much attention paid to blood pressure readings. The general rule is, say for instance your 20, then the systolic reading is fine at 120, better still if it’s under. If your 30, then 130, if your 60, there’s nothing wrong with systolic reading of 160, again if it’s lower than that’s a good thing. Everyone is led to believe we all need to be 120/80 because this is what the doctors tell us. It’s not true. I’m 49, nearly 50. My systolic is normally around 145, this is fine for my age, could be better if I was healthier, but it’s ok. A doctor would probably say this is borderline, but it’s not. As for diastolic, the nearer 80, the better. But again I wouldn’t worry about that unless I was 90 or over. 

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