Q:
We were recently informed at the local hospital that it’s the diastolic measure that indicates hypertension, not so much the systolic. I have never heard this before. Is this true?

A:
 This is no longer felt to be true. At one time doctors just looked at diastolic pressure. Now we know both numbers are important. It is possible to have just an elevated systolic pressure with a normal diastolic pressure. This is known as systolic hypertension. It should be treated at consistent readings above 139. It is more common in the older population.

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