High Systolic Blood Pressure
What Are the Causes of High Systolic Blood Pressure?
In the majority of cases, the cause of high systolic blood pressure is unknown. Risk factors for high systolic blood pressure include:
- Being a male over the age of 45 or a female over the age of 55
- Being overweight
- Having diabetes
- Being a Caucasian male or an African American.
Keep in mind that these risk factors are not direct causes of high systolic blood pressure.
(Click Causes of High Blood Pressure for more information about the possible causes of high blood pressure.)
Most people with high systolic blood pressure don't have any symptoms -- high systolic blood pressure usually doesn't cause problems over a short period of time. Often, it takes several years for high systolic blood pressure to cause noticeable symptoms. Typically, people with high systolic blood pressure don't even realize they have it until they have a blood pressure reading that is too high.
How Is It Diagnosed?
High systolic blood pressure can only be diagnosed after taking multiple readings to find your average blood pressure. To find your average blood pressure, your blood pressure needs to be taken two or more times, and each reading must be from a different day. If the average of the systolic blood pressure readings is more than 140, you have high systolic blood pressure.
Having a single systolic blood pressure reading of more than 140 doesn't necessarily mean that you have high systolic blood pressure. However, your healthcare provider will likely monitor your blood pressure over time to see if it stays there.