Isolated Systolic Hypertension

Filed Under: Q&As, Heart Health
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

Isolated Systolic Hypertension

The top number of my blood pressure reading is too high, while my bottom number is normal. What does this mean?


Systolic hypertension alone (the top number reflects systolic pressure, or the amount of pressure being generated when the heart is contracting) is called isolated systolic hypertension or ISH. ISH can be a sign of calcification of the aorta. You should ask your doctor for an ultrasound of the aorta to check for this.

If your diastolic pressure (the bottom number) is fine, your doctor can take a less aggressive approach to treating ISH, so work closely with him or her as you move forward. I've had some patients with ISH experience good results with 50 mg of nattokinase twice daily.

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