Systolic and diastolic blood pressure spread

Q: My diastolic and systolic numbers have a 60 point spread (pulse pressure) and sometimes more. I am not overweight, do not have diabetes or other risk factors. This high pulse pressure number occurred suddenly after an accident. Should I be concerned?

A: Pulse pressure is determined by subtracting your diastolic blood pressure from your systolic blood pressure. A pulse pressure of greater than 40 at rest is worrisome. You need to be evaluated by your physician to determine the cause. High pulse pressure may be a sign of hardening of the arteries, the side effect of a medication, or a sign of another condition such as hyperthyroidism.

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