What is Isolated Systolic Hypertension

Isolated systolic hypertension is simply a kind of high blood pressure. Doctors can diagnose it when the systolic pressure of a person reaches more than 130mm Hg and the diastolic pressure reaches less than 90 mm Hg.

What is blood pressure?

The circulating blood in the whole body applies pressure on the walls of arteries. It is called blood pressure.

Whenever you visit your doctor, they will check out your blood pressure as it is a part of a normal checkup. The reading of blood pressure usually consists of two digits. The first and the upper digit is called the systolic pressure. While the second and the lower digit are called diastolic pressure.

If the number goes beyond the normal point than then the situation is alarming as it means the person has high blood pressure. Isolated systolic hypertension only occurs in the situation when there is an increase in systolic pressure. This means that isolated systolic hypertension as the name indicates is associated with systolic pressure only.

Isolated systolic hypertension is not a condition to be neglected. It must be dealt with proper care and the patient should immediately talk with a doctor to get adequate help. If left untreated then it can create several dangerous problems.

Who does it affect?

According to a 2021 article older people are most frequently affected by this Isolated systolic hypertension. Those people over the age of 60 are at a high risk of developing isolated systolic hypertension. According to research 30 per cent of older people are becoming affected by it. It means that Isolated systolic hypertension is related to age.

Young people are less likely to develop Isolated systolic hypertension as it affects older people mostly. According to research, only 1.8% of people between 18 to 39 suffer from isolated systolic hypertension, and 6%people between 40 to 50 are living with isolated systolic hypertension.

Furthermore, according to research from 2016, if young individuals have the problem of isolated systolic hypertension. Then in their body, there are more chances of developing life-threatening heart problems.

Symptoms of Isolated systolic hypertension

In most cases, Isolated systolic hypertension does not show any clear symptoms.
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that to diagnose the presence of High blood pressure in an individual the best and the easiest way is to take readings of blood pressure.

Furthermore, doctors can also find some other reasons for high blood pressure in a specific individual according to the health condition.
The symptoms are following
• Thin skin
• Weak muscles
• Tremor
• Depression
• Loud snoring
• Sweating

When the Isolated systolic hypertension occurs in end-stage organ damage, an individual may suffer from
• Shortness of Breath
• Confusion
• Weak eyesight
• Headaches
• Nausea

Causes and risk

The causes of Isolated systolic hypertension are similar to normal high blood pressure.
Following are some risk factors
• A diet that is rich in salt and low in potassium
• Physical inactivity
• Genetics
• Smoking
• Overweight
• Alcohol
• Family history

Those people that have black colour also have more chances of developing high blood pressure.
Isolated systolic hypertension can also occur due to different reasons but they are not so common.
Some are following
• Diabetes
• Anemia
• Kidney disease
• Renal Artery Stenosis, means that those arteries which provide blood to the kidneys become narrow
• Aortic insufficiency
• Hypothyroidism
• Hyperthyroidism
• Peripheral Vascular Disease
• Arteriovenous Fistula, occurs due to abnormal relation between the vein and artery


The American Heart Association (AHA) 2017 changed the isolated systolic hypertension classification from 140 millimetres of mercury to 130mm Hg. If only one reading is high from 130 mm Hg then it does not mean the person is suffering from high blood pressure or he/she needs to visit the doctor.

CDC suggested that the doctor diagnosed systolic hypertension or high blood pressure in case the blood pressure of the person is continuously higher than 130 mm Hg.

Furthermore, some doctors are still using the old method according to which 140 mm Hg systolic pressure shows that the person is suffering from isolated systolic hypertension. In such a situation, doctors help the patient to lower their blood pressure by suggesting them various diet plans and some medicines even though the doctor doesn’t have any proper idea about the cause of the isolated systolic hypertension.


The treatment of Isolated systolic hypertension is based on different changes in eating habits and exercise which means changing the lifestyle along with certain medication.
AHA suggested some crucial steps that the individual must take to treat high blood pressure.
These steps are following
• Reducing the consumption of alcohol
• (The female can drink only one glass per day and the male may take 2 glasses per day)
• Regular Exercise
• Stress Management
• Avoid Smoking
• Maintaining a normal weight
• Limit the intake of sodium to about less than 1.5 grams per day
• Measure blood pressure daily
• The DASH diet can also help to control the high blood pressure

The following medicines are recommended by the doctor
• Diuretics
• Calcium Channel Blockers
• Angiotensin Receptors Blockers
• Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors


If the children of about 8 to 10 years become affected by high blood pressure. Then the situation is alarming. In these children, there is more risk of developing atherosclerosis disease, which is caused by the formation of plaque in the arteries. 50 per cent of people face organ damage problems.
If the individual does not pay attention to isolated systolic hypertension and it is left untreated then it can cause more serious diseases that can become worse and can cause the death of the Individual.
Some of the diseases are following
• Heart attack
• Heart failure
• Stroke
• Aneurysm
• Chronic Kidney disease
• Erectile dysfunction
• Problems in vision such as retinopathy

Can high blood pressure lead to disability?

Isolated systolic hypertension or high blood pressure can lead to disability but not in normal situations. It only happens when the situation becomes worse and it occurs in old people. According to most authorities, high blood pressure is not a disability but continuous high blood pressure can lead to disability. As the causes of high blood pressure vary from individual to individual and from age to age.

Visit your doctor

The isolated systolic hypertension cannot be diagnosed at home as it occurs without any prominent symptoms. So, if you feel any uncomfortable situation then visit your doctor as they can diagnose your isolated systolic hypertension by taking readings of your blood pressure.
Those individuals that suffer from high blood pressure should be advised to check their blood pressure at home on daily basis.
Your doctor may recommend different strategies to lower this blood pressure. If they are not feeling good enough after applying home remedies or after taking some medicines. Then visit your doctor again and these home remedies must also be suggested by the doctor. Never use anything before consulting with your doctor.

Final words

Isolated systolic hypertension is a kind of high blood pressure. It mostly occurs in older individuals. In the younger individuals, it is not present most of the time. But when the younger individuals develop this problem there are more chances of developing other serious heart problems. Isolated systolic hypertension does not have any clear symptoms.
The treatment is based on changing your lifestyle, following a diet, and checking your blood pressure daily. If the situation is not becoming controlled then visit your doctor immediately as they will provide you with the best way to treat it.

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Discover Today

• 4.00 Cardiovascular system – Adult. (n.d.).

• Changes you can make to manage high blood pressure. (2017).

• High blood pressure symptoms and causes. (2021).

• Hypertension disability benefits questionnaire. (2021).

• Know your risk for high blood pressure. (2020).

• McEnlery, C. M., et al. (2016). Isolated systolic hypertension in young people is not spurious and should be treated.

• Tan, J. L., et al. (2020). Systolic hypertension.