Wednesday, December 18, 2013

High Blood Pressure Simplified

The recommendations of the Joint National Committee on hypertension are finally in. They've made it as simple as possible: In patients 60 years or over, start treatment in blood pressures >150 mm Hg systolic or >90 mm Hg diastolic and treat to under those thresholds. In patients <60 years, treatment initiation and goals should be 140/90 mm Hg, the same threshold used in patients >18 years with either chronic kidney disease (CKD) or diabetes. Recommendations are easy. Sometimes treatment isn't for who wants to take a pill when they feel well? It's an act of faith, supported by data, that treatment is safe, effective, and improves quality and length of life.

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