What Are the Causes of High Diastolic Pressure?

Updated April 17, 2017

When you get your blood pressure checked, your measurements are taken in millimetres of mercury. The higher number is called the systolic pressure and the lower number is referred to as the diastolic pressure. The higher your diastolic pressure is, the greater your risk for health complications.

About Diastolic Blood Pressure

Diastolic blood pressure examines the amount of blood pressure placed on the heart when it is relaxed. The diastolic number is most often lower than the systolic number due to the fact the strain placed on the arteries is less between beats of the heart then when the heart is actually beating.

Diastolic Readings

A normal diastolic blood pressure reading is a measurement of 80 millimetres of mercury or less. If your diastolic blood pressure comes in between 80 to 89 millimetres of mercury, you are considered to have prehypertension, which can develop into hypertension. Any diastolic blood pressure 90 millimetres of mercury or higher is classified as high blood pressure or hypertension.


The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey states that the reasons for high blood pressure can vary. Reasons can be associated with the constricting of arteries, a larger than normal amount of blood, or the heart pounding more vigorously than normal. These situations in the body causes added pressure against the arteries. In other instances, the rise in blood pressure can be related to unknown medical conditions. Most often high blood pressure cannot be healed, but often it can be prevented and managed.


More than 60 million Americans are affected by high blood pressure, according to the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Since the heart is overworked with an elevated diastolic blood pressure, the chances for hardened arteries, heart disease and stroke increase. High blood pressure can also lead in damaged eyes and kidney disease and kidney failure. According to the High Blood Pressure Treatment website, every 10 millimetre increase in diastolic pressure doubles the chances for harmful effects of high blood pressure.


An elevated diastolic blood pressure can be treated in a variety of ways. If you have high blood pressure, try making some changes to your lifestyle. This includes watching what you eat, maintaining a daily exercise routine and limiting or eliminating smoking and drinking alcohol. Also, a variety of medications, such as diuretics, beta blockers and calcium channel blockers, can help with high blood pressure. Medicines do not resolve the high blood pressure, but lower it while you are on the medication.

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About the Author

A writing professional with more than 15 years of experience, Steve Repsys is currently employed in a college marketing environment. He is part of a team that produces award-winning publications. He holds a bachelor's degree in communication from Stonehill College and a master's degree in sports marketing from Springfield College.