Heart association president wary of new hypertension guidelines
The American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Family Physicians together suggested in the Annals of Internal Medicine that individuals ages 60 and up lacking previous history of cardiovascular trouble should not be treated for hypertension unless their blood pressure reaches or exceeds 150/90.
“The evidence showed that any additional benefit from aggressive blood pressure control is small, with a lower magnitude of benefit and inconsistent results across outcomes,” American College of Physicians President Dr. Nitin Damle said.
AHA countered, however, by stating that treatment is crucial based on statistics, suggesting that slacking on scrutiny might “create a false sense of security.”
“With the recent suggestion of a slowing in the decades-long, steady decrease in death rates, we just can’t afford to back off on our efforts to control this major risk factor,” AHA President Dr. Steven Houser said, adding that relaxing standards might potentially increase the risk for health problems.
The AHA, American College of Cardiology and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agree that treating blood pressure at 140/90 is appropriate for reducing cardiovascular event risk, particularly stroke.
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