High systolic blood pressure (the first and higher number) appears to be a significant indicator for heart complications, including death, in all ages, but especially in middle-aged and older adults. In fact, elevated systolic pressure may pose a significant danger for heart events and stroke
events even when diastolic is normal, a condition called isolated systolic hypertension
. The wider the spread between the systolic and diastolic measurements, the greater the danger. Isolated systolic hypertension is the most common form of hypertension in people older than fifty; in one study it comprised 87% of hypertension cases in people between ages 50 and 59.