Isolated Systolic High Blood Pressure

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Topic Overview

In isolated systolic high blood pressure (isolated systolic hypertension, or ISH), systolic blood pressure is elevated (above 140 mm Hg), but diastolic blood pressure stays below 90 mm Hg. This type of high blood pressure is more common in older adults, especially older women. In fact, the majority of people older than 60 who have hypertension have isolated systolic hypertension.

A systolic blood pressure over 140 mm Hg is an important risk factor for stroke and heart disease.

ISH can cause damage to organs such as the kidneys, brain, heart, or eyes. And it should be treated.

Treatment includes lifestyle changes and medicines that lower blood pressure.

Lifestyle changes include eating healthy with the DASH diet, losing weight, being active, limiting sodium, and limiting alcohol.

Medicines include:

Related Information


Other Works Consulted

  • Aronow WS, et al. (2011). ACCF/AHA 2011 Expert consensus document on hypertension in the elderly: A report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation Task Force on Clinical Expert Consensus Documents. Circulation, 123(21): 2434–2506.


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology

Current as ofFebruary 20, 2015