Systolic Vs Diastolic: Which Blood Pressure Number Matters the Most?


Hypertension, or in simple terms, high blood pressure, is one of the most common, yet somehow dangerous cardiovascular risk factors that people experience globally. However, this condition is untreated and can lead to cardiac arrest or stroke.

According to many researchers, approximately 0.5 million Americans’ deaths occur due to hypertension. Also, it is estimated that almost 116 million adults suffer from high blood pressure in the US.

Hypertension is often known as a silent killer since it does not show certain specific symptoms; either it cannot be treated permanently and can lead to further severe health risks. Therefore, the only way to control your blood pressure is by taking its readings through a blood pressure machine.

Thus, blood pressure can be measured in two numbers: systolic vs diastolic. If you want to track your blood pressure by monitoring it, understanding these two numbers is the foremost thing.

In this blog, you will be reading what’s systolic and diastolic blood pressure and which number is more important. Continue readings about systolic vs diastolic blood pressure to know about everything.

What is Systolic Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is usually measured in two readings: the upper and the lower readings. The upper reading or the first number is known as systolic blood pressure, which means that it measures the pressure pumped by your blood in contradiction to the walls of your arteries upon the heartbeat or contraction.

The systolic blood pressure reading in a normal human being should be 120 mm Hg.

What is Diastolic Blood Pressure?

On the other hand, diastolic blood pressure is the lower reading or the second number, which measures the pressure within your blood pressure when between the heartbeat and when the heart relaxes.

However, the diastolic normal blood pressure in adults should be 80 mm Hg.

Systolic Vs Diastolic: Which Number is More Important?

So, is systolic or diastolic more important? Well, numerous patients and medical professionals frequently focus more on the systolic blood pressure level. As mentioned above, the pressure of your arteries, when your heart beats, is represented by the systolic pressure and is the upper number. Since it depicts the force in your blood vessels during the heartbeat cycle’s relaxing period, the diastolic pressure, which is the lower number, is always less.

In fact, the systolic vs diastolic blood pressure readings are equally significant. According to professionals, having high blood pressure, often known as hypertension puts you at risk for major health issues if your systolic blood pressure goes beyond 130 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure goes above 80 mm Hg.

In addition to this, many types of research have revealed that those with excessive systolic pressures have a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke than those with high diastolic readings. This is considered to be more precise amongst older persons in particular those of age 50 or above. Because of this, doctors frequently pay close attention to systolic blood pressure. The enormous power that the heart pumping out of blood exerts on the big arteries may be the cause of the discrepancy.

Low Systolic Vs Diastolic: Which Number is Better?

In order to maintain optimal cardiovascular health, it’s crucial to keep both systolic vs diastolic blood pressure readings normal. It was formerly thought that patients with elevated systolic blood pressure had an increased chance of developing cardiovascular diseases, particularly strokes. On the flip side, increased diastolic pressure was generally thought to be less dangerous.

An investigation was done on 1.3 million people in 2019 that went on for eight years. According to this study, the increased systolic pressure has a bigger impact directly on the heart, increased diastolic readings can significantly alter a person’s risk, regardless of the systolic pressure.

Some people might also be suffering from another similar disease, isolated diastolic hypertension. This condition is described as having a normal systolic and diastolic blood pressure of more than 80 mm Hg. Yet, empirical research has demonstrated a relationship between isolated diastolic hypertension and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

Young people, males, and people with large body composition indices are more likely to experience it. This disease can be caused due to the reasons such as high blood sugar, high triglyceride levels, and increased alcohol intake.

Systolic Vs Diastolic Heart Failure

According to the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA), in the US, approximately 8.5% of deaths are directly associated with heart failure. Moreover, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease can be the primary cause of death in both males and females.

However, heart failure can be categorized into two: systolic vs diastolic heart failure. Systolic heart failure occurs when the heart does not contract during the heartbeats. While diastolic heart failure arises when the heart does not relax normally between the heartbeats.

Yet, these two types of heart failure are pretty different.

Signs of Heart Failure

Whether a person experiences systolic or diastolic heart failure, both conditions have some common symptoms mentioned below:

  • Shortness of breath upon regular tasks
  • Frequent chest pain
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Edema of legs, feet, ankles, or abdomen
  • Shortness of breath when lying down
  • Nausea and lack of appetite
  • Frequent fatigue and weakness

Although the signs of both systolic vs diastolic heart failure might be similar, treating these two conditions is pretty different.

Systolic Heart Failure Treatment

Systolic blood pressure is of two types: acute and chronic. Acute systolic heart failure occurs more suddenly as compared to chronic heart failure which occurs over a time period. Systolic heart failure can be caused due to high blood pressure, alcohol, and drug abuse.

Yet, most people with systolic heart failure experience its chronic condition, which can be treated through lifestyle changes and medications. However, it cannot be said this condition completely fades away with these medicines.

Nevertheless, your doctor may prescribe you medicines according to your symptoms of systolic heart failure. Some common medicines to treat this condition include:

  • Aldosterone Antagonists
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors
  • Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers
  • Angiotensin Receptor-Neprilysin Inhibitor
  • Beta Blockers
  • Digoxin
  • Diuretics
  • F-Channel Blocker
  • Inotropes

Yet, if systolic heart failure is not treated on time, it may lead to several complications such as liver damage or impaired kidney function.

Diastolic Heart Failure Treatment

In medical terms, diastolic heart failure is referred to as Heart Failure with preserved Ejection Fraction. In this condition, the lower chamber of the heart does not function properly during the diastolic stage. As a result, it reduced the amount of blood exerted on the body.

Diastolic heart failure may occur due to hypertension, some coronary artery disease, obesity, or diabetes. Yet, it can be treated with numerous medications. Your doctor may prescribe you medicines based on the signs you show.

Some common medications to treat diastolic heart failure are:

  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Angiotensin Receptor Blockers 
  • Beta-blockers
  • Calcium-channel blockers and long-acting nitrates
  • Diuretics
  • Vasodilators

Diastolic heart failure, if not treated, may lead to further complications such as anemia, atrial fibrillation, cardiac cachexia, impaired kidney function, leg venous stasis, ulcers, or stroke.

Systolic Vs Diastolic: Take Away

Thus, it is crucial to pay attention to both the systolic vs diastolic pressure values since both readings are important. Your risk of experiencing major health complications rises when your blood pressure is raised. Because of this, it’s crucial to periodically check your blood pressure. You should immediately get medical assistance from a doctor who can diagnose hypertension and cure it if necessary despite your systolic or diastolic pressure being high.


Why do I have high systolic, but normal diastolic?

If your systolic blood pressure is higher and diastolic is normal, it means you’re suffering from a condition known as isolated systolic hypertension. This condition occurs when the systolic reading goes 130 mm Hg or above while the diastolic remains at 80 mm Hg or less. This type of hypertension is commonly found in elderly people 65 or above and may lead to the risk factors of stroke, kidney disease, or cardiac arrest.

How can I control my high blood pressure?

There are plenty of remedies to lower high blood pressure diastolic or systolic naturally. You need to bring some lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet, regulated sleep cycle, maintained weight, regular exercise, and reduced stress.

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