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Don’t ignore diastolic blood pressure values, say researchers

July 18, 2019

A large study from clinicians at Kaiser Permanente has concluded that both the upper and lower values of blood pressure readings (systolic and diastolic blood pressure) are associated with the risk of heart attack and stroke. The new study, which is titled “Effect of Systolic and Diastolic Blood Pressure on Cardiovascular Outcomes,” appeared in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, this week.

Previously, clinicians believed that heart attack and stroke risk is intimately tied with the upper number of the blood pressure, known as systolic blood pressure. This new NEJM study counters this hypothesis saying that both systolic and diastolic blood pressures are equally harmful.

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