611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

Health Choice Integrated Care crisis Line
1-877-756-4090

AzCH Nurse Assist Line
1-866-495-6735

NAZCARE Warm Line
1-888-404-5530



SEABHS
611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

AzCH Nurse Assist Line
1-866-495-6735

NAZCARE Warm Line
1-888-404-5530


powered by centersite dot net

Getting Started
Here are some forms to get started. These can be printed and brought with you so that you can pre-fill out some known info ahead of time. More...


Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
Don't Want a 2nd Heart Attack? Lose the Belly FatHow to Keep Those Blood Vessels PumpingScreening for Chinese Coronavirus to Start at 3 Major Airports: CDCDo You Take Warfarin? Time of Day Might Not MatterHealth Tip: Signs of Food PoisoningSepsis Causes Far More Deaths Worldwide Than ThoughtMillennials Most Likely to Skip Flu Shot, Believe 'Anti-Vaxxer' Claims: PollResearchers Alter Mosquitoes to Resist Dengue InfectionMany Americans Are Inactive, With Southerners Faring WorseVirtual Reality Can Bring Real-Life PainAre Doctors Discarding 'Injured' Kidneys That Might Be Used for Transplant?Nerve Stimulation Therapy Could Cut Fibromyalgia PainWhich Obesity Surgery Is Right for You?Brake Dust Another Driver of Air PollutionWhat Works Best to Help Men With Overactive Bladder?More Studies Link Vaping to Asthma, COPDCertain Diabetes Meds May Lower Gout Risk, TooHeart Transplants From Donors With Hepatitis C May Be Safe: StudyClimate Change May Translate Into More Fatal InjuriesAll in the Timing: Many Get Knee Replacement Too Late or Too SoonHealth Tip: Preparing for an UltrasoundLow Levels of Key Blood Cells Could Signal Higher Death RiskGyms Are Fertile Ground for GermsTwo More Heartburn Meds Recalled Due to Possible CarcinogenZika Damage Showing Up in Babies Deemed 'Normal' at BirthHealth Tip: Coping With Winter NosebleedsHeart Disease May Up Risk of Kidney FailureFlu Cases Surge Early, Could a Tough Season Lie Ahead?Cluster of Unhealthy Risk Factors Could Raise Odds of Recurrent Blood ClotsAHA News: Worried About Dementia? Check This Blood Pressure NumberNew Study Reports Alarming Surge in E-Scooter AccidentsSo Long, 98.6: Average Human Body Temperature Is DroppingWhat Matters More for Obesity Risk, Genes or Lifestyle?Health Tip: Protect Yourself From Household ChemicalsOzone, Wood Smoke Raise Odds of COPD in Smokers and NonsmokersSmog May Be Bad for Your BonesEver Get a Rash from Your Skin Cream or Makeup? Here's WhyHealth Tip: 5 Eye Myths DebunkedHealth Tip: Allergic Reaction First AidTB Vaccine More Powerful When Given IntravenouslyGene Therapy May Be Long-Term Cure for Type of HemophiliaClots in Space: Astronaut's Blocked Vein Brings Medical InsightHealth Tip: Help Your Child Safely Lose WeightPatients Often Bring Undetected 'Superbug' to the Hospital: StudyExperimental Drug Could Be New Option Against ArthritisBanned for Decades, DDT and Dioxins Are Still Harming U.S. BabiesHealth Tip: When Bruising is a Red FlagAmericans Need to Tackle Youth Obesity: U.S. Task ForceFestive Foods Can Leave Those on Restricted Diets Out in the ColdHow You Can Be Overfat Without Being Overweight
Questions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Cancer
Men's Health
Women's Health

The 'Bottom' Blood Pressure Number Matters, Too

HealthDay News
by By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Jul 18th 2019

new article illustration

THURSDAY, July 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- When it comes to blood pressure readings, the "top" number seems to grab all the attention.

But a large, new study confirms that both numbers are, in fact, critical in determining the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Blood pressure measurements are given as a "top" and "bottom" number. The first reflects systolic blood pressure, the amount of pressure in the arteries as the heart contracts. The second reflects diastolic blood pressure, the pressure in the arteries between heart muscle contractions.

For years, systolic blood pressure has been seen as the one that really matters. That's based on studies -- including the famous Framingham Heart Study -- showing that high systolic blood pressure is a stronger predictor of heart disease and stroke.

At the same time, though, doctors measure both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and treatment guidelines are based on both. So just how important is that diastolic number?

"The idea behind this new study was to address the confusion," said lead researcher Dr. Alexander Flint, an investigator with Kaiser Permanente Northern California's division of research.

Using medical records from 1.3 million patients, his team confirmed that, yes, high systolic blood pressure was a stronger risk factor for heart attack and stroke. But those risks also climbed in tandem with diastolic pressure; and people with normal systolic readings were still at risk if their diastolic pressure was high.

"There's been a common belief that systolic blood pressure is the only one that matters," Flint said. "But diastolic definitely matters."

He and his colleagues reported the findings in the July 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The definition of high blood pressure has gotten a revamp in recent years. Guidelines issued in 2017 by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and other heart groups lowered the threshold for diagnosing the condition -- from the traditional 140/90 mm Hg to 130/80.

The fact that treatment guidelines include a diastolic pressure threshold implies that it's important. And indeed it is, said Dr. Karol Watson, a member of the ACC's prevention section and leadership council.

In fact, she said, doctors once thought that diastolic blood pressure was the more important one -- based on research at the time. Then came the studies showing that systolic pressure was generally a better predictor of people's risk of heart disease and stroke.

In addition, Watson said, high systolic blood pressure is more prevalent, because of natural changes in blood pressure as people age.

"As we get older, systolic blood pressure keeps marching up," she explained. Diastolic blood pressure, on the other hand, generally peaks when people are in their 40s to 60s -- and then it declines.

But it's clear, Watson said, that while systolic and diastolic blood pressure are different, they both deserve attention.

In the latest study, cardiovascular risks rose with each "unit increase" in systolic pressure above 140, by about 18% on average. Meanwhile, each increase in diastolic blood pressure above 90 was tied to a 6% increase in heart disease and stroke risk.

The researchers saw a similar pattern when they looked at blood pressure increases above the 130/80 threshold. That, Flint said, supports the 2017 guideline shift.

The findings are based on over 1.3 million patients in the Kaiser Permanente health system who had roughly 36.8 million blood pressure readings taken from 2007 through 2016. Over eight years, more than 44,000 patients had a heart attack or stroke.

According to Flint, it's the largest study of its kind to date.

The bottom line for patients, Watson said, is that they should care about both blood pressure numbers. In her experience, she noted, patients often point to the number that's in the normal range and say, "But look how good this is."

Flint agreed, saying that no one should "ignore" the diastolic number. "It's important not only in blood pressure treatment, but on the side of diagnosis, too," he said.

More information

The American Heart Association has a guide on high blood pressure.