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Blood Pressure Readings: Which Number is More Important?

November 25, 2006 | 17,754 views
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Systolic blood pressure, the maximum arterial pressure during contraction of the left ventricle of the heart, is an important factor in predicting mortality risk for heart failure patients.

Systolic blood pressure is typically the first number in a blood pressure reading; for example, 120 when the blood pressure is reported as 120/80.

Heart failure patients with high systolic blood pressures had lower death rates; those with low systolic pressures may have a more advanced disease and a poorer prognosis. Mortality rates were more than four times higher for those with systolic pressures of less than 120, in comparison to those who had pressure over 161. For many younger patients, a low blood pressure is a sign of heart health, but for some older patients and heart failure patients, who need a higher blood pressure to maintain adequate blood flow to vital organs, low blood pressure can be a sign of serious problems.

These conclusions were gleaned from research on more than 48,000 heart failure patients seen at 259 U.S. hospitals between March 2003 and December 2004.

 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

This study is a great example of how many things that are held as gospel in conventional medical thinking are simply hogwash. For the longest time it was commonly believed that a high systolic blood pressure in patients with CHF was something to strongly avoid and patients would be given many drugs to do just that.

Now along comes a study published in the largest medical journal in the world, JAMA, saying the exact opposite.

But who is to say that this study is correct?

It really doesn't matter because the most important thing you can do is to take better care of your health so you can normalize your blood pressure and protect your heart.

Here are five ways to optimize your blood pressure safely, effectively and without a drug:

You may not realize that you can now comment AND vote on articles at Vital Votes. Your participation will actually help select the articles that are sent out in this newsletter. And if your comments are good enough they will be posted in the newsletter.

If you aren't registered make sure you do so resiter now at Vital Votes. You have a chance of having your comment posted like Terry did:

"I went to the doctor once sick, the doctor decided I was hypertensive, because of an elevated blood pressure, after numerous tests and medicine combinations that only made things wors[e].

I gave up the drugs, my problem now is every time a doctor or nurse gets out a cuff, I remember all those problems and my pressure goes up. So now I essentially skip going to the doctor and monitor my own pressure."

Stories like that highlight why it is important for you to take responsibility for your own health: not only do doctors sometimes make incorrect assessments in the unusual conditions of an office visit, but, thanks to our current broken health care system, the remedies they prescribe will often only make the problem worse.


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