DISCOVER
×

How to Reduce Pulse Pressure

Updated February 21, 2017

Pulse pressure is calculated by taking the difference between your systolic and diastolic blood pressure. And while your pulse pressure rises naturally during strenuous exercise, consistently high pulse pressure can be a dangerous indicator of your risk for serious conditions such as heart disease and arterial fibrillation. While other conditions can raise your pulse pressure, high pulse pressure can be a sign of a stiffening of the aorta due to high blood pressure or atherosclerosis. However, medication and lifestyle change can significantly improve elasticity of the aorta and reduce your pulse pressure.

Schedule an appointment with your doctor. While it is possible to calculate your pulse pressure by subtracting the top number of your blood pressure from the bottom, this number means little without additional information that only your doctor can give you. High blood pressure can be a result of an aortic valve disorder, severe anaemia, hyperthyroidism or hypertension. Accurate diagnosis is essential before the condition is to be appropriately treated.

Ask your doctor about starting a course of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. ACE inhibitors are often prescribed to hypertensive patients and work to lower pulse pressure be increasing the flexibility of the aorta.

Take a short course of folic acid. A 2005 study conducted by the Baker Heart Research Institute revealed that taking 5 mg of folic acid daily for 3 weeks can significantly reduce high pulse pressure.

Improve your diet and begin exercising. Body mass index and pulse pressure are very closely related. And even a small loss in weight can lead to a significant reduction in pulse pressure. However, high pulse pressure is a heart condition, and you must consult your doctor before changing your diet or starting an exercise regimen.

bibliography-icon icon for annotation tool Cite this Article

About the Author

Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.