Updated 07 July 2014

Isolated Systolic Hypertension

When the top number is consistently above 160, it should not be discarded as mere age-related.

There are two major types of hypertension and four more not so common types. 

In this case the systolic blood pressure, (the top number), is consistently above 160 mm Hg, and the diastolic below 90 mm Hg. This may occur in older people, and results from the age-related stiffening of the arteries. The loss of elasticity in arteries, like the aorta, is mostly due to arteriosclerosis. The Western lifestyle and diet is believed to be the root cause.


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Dr Jacomien de Villiers qualified as a specialist physician at the University of Pretoria in 1995. She worked at various clinics at the Department of Internal Medicine, Steve Biko Hospital, these include General Internal Medicine, Hypertension, Diabetes and Cardiology. She has run a private practice since 2001, as well as a consultant post at the Endocrine Clinic of Steve Biko Hospital.

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