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How high is high blood pressure?


Only recently, Australia adopted a National goal of lowering blood pressure averages to less than 120mmHG. Overly ambitious? Professor Aram Chobanian at Boston University thinks so.

The controversial targets were inspired by the SPRINT study, which when reviewed against available evidence suggests unrealistic goal-setting. For high-risk patients Chobanian explains a goal of less than 130mmHG would be more on the mark.

Australia’s management of hypertension is in constant review, with lifestyle measures being nominated as the first port of call. “For most adults younger than 50 years, despite the lack of definitive clinical trial data, the goal BP of less than 120/80 mm Hg is recommended based on the wealth of epidemiological data demonstrating an almost linear increase in CVD risk with increasing BP levels above this goal,” says Chobanian.

Between the ages of 50 and 74 years individuals should be aiming for a long-term SBP goal of less than 130mmHg” writes the Professor. A first goal of less than 140mmHg is recommended and if treatment is well tolerated, he encourages them to aim lower.

This approach is recommended irrespective of the presence or absence of CVD or chronic kidney disease. In individuals with type 2 diabetes, the long-term target currently should be an SBP level of less than 140 mm Hg.” Says Chobanian. Unfortunately, the SBP goal for individuals over 75 years is not clear. “At present, a goal of less than 140 mm Hg appears reasonable,” the professor states.

If you have concerns regarding your SBP or would appreciate guidance on goal-setting whatever your age please don’t hesitate to ask Docto.

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