Top Number Is Better

Published Online: Monday, March 1, 2004

Research at John Hopkins School of Public Health confirms that systolic pressure is more important than diastolic pressure. Researchers looked at the medical records of 7830 Caucasians and African Americans (men and women) who were followed for 15 years. The participants were aged 30 to 74 and appeared to have no sign of heart disease. The results of the study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (November 4, 2003), showed that participants with higher systolic pressure levels were more apt to die of heart disease. Diastolic pressure seemed to possibly play a role in death rates in older patients, as well as unusually low blood pressure.

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