Blood pressure measured during exercise is a better indicator of heart disease risk than blood pressure taken at rest. High blood pressure raises the risk of heart disease and stroke. Normally, doctors measure blood pressure when the patient is sitting quietly in their office. But researchers at University of San Diego now show that there could be a better way. Hence it has to be treated and detected.
They measured the blood pressure of 40 adults aged between 55 and 75 while exercising on a treadmill. They found that the pulse pressure - the difference between systolic pressure (top figure) and diastolic pressure (bottom figure) - was a good indicator of the health of the coronary arteries. The higher the pulse pressure during exercise, the less able the artery was to expand to the demand for increased blood flow. This strains the heart and raises the risk of heart attack or stroke.