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Thu Dec 19, 2013, 01:39 AM


Blood Pressure Targets Can Be Eased In Older Patients, Experts Advise

Experts are urging doctors to ease up on using medications to control blood pressure in older patients. Rather than aim for a target blood pressure of 140/90 mm Hg, the target will be relaxed slightly to 150/90 mm Hg, according to new guidelines issued Wednesday.
The authors of the new guidelines, published in the Journal of the American Medical Assn., emphasized that they were not changing the definition of high blood pressure. Rather, they are recognizing that data from randomized clinical trials do not show that using drugs to nudge down systolic blood pressure from 150 to 140 provides any health benefit.

Systolic pressure -- the top number in a blood pressure reading -- measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart muscle contracts. Diastolic pressure, the bottom number, measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart muscle is relaxed between heartbeats.

An estimated 67 million American adults suffer from high blood pressure, known formally as hypertension, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That works out to nearly 1 in 3 adults, making it the most common condition treated by primary care physicians.

People with high blood pressure force their hearts to work too hard, putting them at risk for heart disease and stroke, the No. 1 and No. 3 causes of death in the U.S., the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute says. The American Heart Assn. also warns that hypertension can lead to atherosclerosis, kidney damage, vision loss, erectile dysfunction, memory loss, peripheral artery disease and other ailments.


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Reply Blood Pressure Targets Can Be Eased In Older Patients, Experts Advise (Original post)
Purveyor Dec 2013 OP
Warpy Dec 2013 #1

Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Thu Dec 19, 2013, 01:44 AM

1. A lot of old folks with placque in their carotid arteries

don't perfuse their brains all that well on tightly controlled blood pressure. It's about time they got a little more relaxed in that department. I remember pitched battles between neurologists and cardiologists over what a person's blood pressure should be to allow him to stand upright, at all.

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