New Blood Pressure Guidelines May Take Millions of Americans Off Meds
About 5.8 million American adults may no longer be prescribed drugs to treat high blood pressure under recently revised guidelines, according to a new study.
In February, the Eighth Joint National Committee released controversial guidelines that relaxed blood pressure goals in adults 60 and older from 140/90 to 150/90. The guidelines also eased blood pressure targets for adults with diabetes and kidney disease.
In this study, researchers used blood pressure data collected from more than 16,000 Americans between 2005 and 2010 to assess the impact of the revised guidelines.
The proportion of adults considered eligible for medication to treat high blood pressure would fall from about 41 percent to 32 percent, the authors concluded in the study published online March 29 in the Journal of the American Medical Association and presented Saturday at the American College of Cardiology annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
The researchers also said that 13.5 million adults -- most of them older than 60 -- who were considered to have poorly controlled blood pressure would now be viewed as having adequately managed blood pressure. That includes 5.8 million adults who would no longer require blood pressure pills.
"The new guidelines do not address whether these adults should still be considered as having hypertension. But they would no longer need medication to lower their blood pressure," study lead author Ann Marie Navar-Boggan, a cardiology fellow at Duke University School of Medicine, said in a Duke news release.
One in four adults older than 60 currently receives treatment for high blood pressure, according to the researchers.
"These adults would be eligible for less intensive blood pressure medication under the new guidelines, particularly if they were experiencing side effects," Navar-Boggan said. "But many experts fear that increasing blood pressure levels in these adults could be harmful."
Even under the new guidelines, about 28 million U.S. adults still have uncontrolled high blood pressure and more than half of them don't receive treatment, said Navar-Boggan, who noted that uncontrolled high blood pressure is a risk factor for heart attack and stroke.
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more about high blood pressure.
SOURCE: Duke Medicine, news release, March 29, 2014
Hi, thanks for sharing. It needs to be seen if these guidelines help to adequately control the risk factors for occurrence of stroke and myocardial infarction. Its a balance, adequate control of blood pressure and side effects of medications used. As medications are used long term for hypertension. The best bet is to be active, use any excuse to be physically active, walk daily for at least 30 minutes briskly, use the stairway instead of the elevator, think of walking to the supermarket, enjoy a sport, swimming, badminton lawn tennis etc. This is the key to success. This lifestyle has shown to prevent/postpone hypertension in many studies and scores over medications!
Copyright 1994-2016 MedHelp International. All rights reserved.
MedHelp is a division of Aptus Health.
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.