Latest hypertension guidelines indicate 130/80 mmHg as the new high in blood pressure


eMediNexus Editorial    05 January 2018

A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology revealed that blood pressure (BP) of ³130/80 mm Hg is the new high in the latest American Heart Association / American College of Cardiology hypertension guidelines. This threshold is tighter than the Joint National Committee 7 cutpoint of 140/90 mm Hg for stage 1 hypertension in the general population. The change indicates that more patients will now be considered as hypertensive.


Although the levels of normal BP have not been changed (< 120/80 mm Hg), the bars suggesting high blood pressure have been moved down due to the presence of convincing evidence that at stage 1, the risk for a heart attack or stroke is already doubled. The new guidelines also state that a BP of 130-139 systolic or 80-89 diastolic (previously called pre-hypertension) is now referred as stage 1 hypertension and a BP ³140/90 is stage 2 hypertension. The researchers have reported that for adults with confirmed hypertension and known cardiovascular disease (CVD) or 10-year atherosclerotic CVD event risk of ³ 10%, a BP target of <130/80 mm Hg is recommended. For those with hypertension but without additional markers of increased CVD risk, a target of <130/80 mm Hg may be appropriate. Patients who are 65 years or older or those at high risk of CVD must receive drug therapy. Adults at increased risk of heart failure and in those with hypertension and chronic kidney disease, treatment goal should be < 130/80 mm Hg. In patients with diabetes and hypertension, anti-hypertensive treatment goal must be < 130/80. For pregnant hypertensive women, the goal should be to prevent severe hypertension and to prolong gestation to provide more time to the fetus to mature before delivery.

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