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Systolic Blood Pressure vs. Diastolic Blood Pressure: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on October 9, 2023
Systolic blood pressure measures pressure when the heart beats; diastolic measures pressure when the heart rests between beats.

Key Differences

Systolic blood pressure refers to the highest pressure level in the arteries, occurring when the heart contracts to pump blood out. It represents the force exerted on the arterial walls during a heartbeat. On the other hand, diastolic blood pressure signifies the lowest pressure level in the arteries when the heart is at rest between beats. It showcases the resistance of the arteries when the heart is not actively pumping.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023
A blood pressure reading typically provides two numbers. The systolic blood pressure is the first or top number, while the diastolic blood pressure is the second or bottom number. For instance, in a reading of 120/80 mm Hg, 120 represents the systolic pressure, and 80 represents the diastolic pressure.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023
High systolic blood pressure can indicate risks like heart disease or stroke due to the increased force on arterial walls. Elevated diastolic blood pressure might suggest the arteries are too narrow or stiff, preventing them from expanding and contracting easily.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023
Both systolic and diastolic pressures are vital for assessing one's overall cardiovascular health. While it's common for attention to gravitate toward systolic pressure as a primary risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, especially in older adults, diastolic pressure is equally crucial, especially in younger individuals.
Sara Rehman
Oct 09, 2023

Comparison Chart

When Measured

During heart's contraction
During heart's rest
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023
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Representation in BP Reading

Top number
Bottom number
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Indicates

Force on arterial walls during heartbeat
Resistance of arteries during heart rest
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Associated Risks

Heart disease, stroke
Arterial stiffness, narrowness
Harlon Moss
Oct 09, 2023

Typically Higher in

Older adults
Younger individuals
Sara Rehman
Oct 09, 2023

Systolic Blood Pressure and Diastolic Blood Pressure Definitions

Systolic Blood Pressure

The pressure in arteries when the heart beats.
Her systolic blood pressure was slightly elevated during the exam.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023
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Diastolic Blood Pressure

The bottom number in a blood pressure reading.
A diastolic blood pressure of 90 mm Hg suggests borderline hypertension.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Systolic Blood Pressure

The top number in a blood pressure reading.
A systolic blood pressure of 130 mm Hg is considered high.
Huma Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Diastolic Blood Pressure

Measurement of minimum arterial pressure during one cardiac cycle.
Persistent high diastolic blood pressure can stress the heart and damage arteries.
Janet White
Oct 09, 2023

Systolic Blood Pressure

Represents the force exerted on arterial walls during a heartbeat.
The doctor noted his systolic blood pressure was within a normal range.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Diastolic Blood Pressure

Indicates arterial elasticity between heartbeats.
Proper exercise helps maintain healthy diastolic blood pressure.
Sara Rehman
Oct 09, 2023

Systolic Blood Pressure

The maximum arterial pressure during one cardiac cycle.
Her systolic blood pressure consistently read above 140 mm Hg, indicating hypertension.
Harlon Moss
Oct 09, 2023

Diastolic Blood Pressure

The pressure in arteries when the heart is at rest.
His diastolic blood pressure was a perfect 80 mm Hg.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Systolic Blood Pressure

Measurement of arterial pressure during heart contraction.
Maintaining a healthy systolic blood pressure is crucial for cardiovascular health.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Diastolic Blood Pressure

Represents the arterial resistance when the heart isn't beating.
Diastolic blood pressure readings below 60 mm Hg may indicate a problem.
Huma Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

FAQs

What does systolic blood pressure represent?

Systolic blood pressure represents the pressure when the heart beats.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

When is diastolic blood pressure measured?

Diastolic blood pressure is measured when the heart is at rest between beats.
Huma Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Which pressure, systolic or diastolic, indicates arterial stiffness?

Elevated diastolic blood pressure can indicate arterial stiffness.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Which blood pressure reading, systolic or diastolic, showcases the force on arterial walls?

The systolic blood pressure showcases the force on arterial walls.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Can high systolic blood pressure indicate cardiovascular risks?

Yes, high systolic pressure can suggest risks like heart disease or stroke.
Janet White
Oct 09, 2023

What's a normal range for diastolic blood pressure?

A normal range for diastolic blood pressure is typically 60-80 mm Hg.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Is the systolic or diastolic number on top in a BP reading?

The systolic number is the top number in a blood pressure reading.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Are there different treatments for high systolic vs. high diastolic blood pressure?

Treatment approaches may vary, but both forms of high blood pressure can often be managed with similar strategies.
Janet White
Oct 09, 2023

Can exercise affect my systolic and diastolic blood pressures?

Yes, regular exercise can help lower both systolic and diastolic pressures.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Is a low diastolic blood pressure cause for concern?

Yes, very low diastolic pressure can reduce blood flow to the heart and brain.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Can systolic and diastolic blood pressures be too low?

Yes, both systolic and diastolic pressures that are too low can indicate health issues.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

How do systolic and diastolic pressures relate to the cardiac cycle?

Systolic pressure occurs during the heart's contraction, while diastolic occurs during its rest.
Janet White
Oct 09, 2023

Why is monitoring systolic blood pressure important in older adults?

In older adults, high systolic blood pressure is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.
Janet White
Oct 09, 2023

Which blood pressure number is more crucial in younger individuals?

Diastolic pressure is often considered more significant in younger individuals.
Janet White
Oct 09, 2023

How can I lower my systolic blood pressure?

Lifestyle changes, like a healthy diet, exercise, and medication, can help lower systolic blood pressure.
Harlon Moss
Oct 09, 2023

Which is more commonly elevated in the elderly, systolic or diastolic blood pressure?

Systolic blood pressure is more commonly elevated in the elderly.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Which blood pressure, systolic or diastolic, is linked to arterial narrowness?

Elevated diastolic blood pressure might suggest narrow or stiff arteries.
Harlon Moss
Oct 09, 2023

Can I have high systolic blood pressure but normal diastolic blood pressure?

Yes, it's possible to have isolated systolic hypertension, where only the systolic pressure is elevated.
Sara Rehman
Oct 09, 2023

What does it mean if both my systolic and diastolic numbers are high?

Both high systolic and diastolic readings indicate hypertension or high blood pressure.
Janet White
Oct 09, 2023

When is the diastolic pressure at its lowest?

Diastolic pressure is at its lowest when the heart is resting between beats.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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