Southshore Nephrology

South Shore Nephrology Blog

Blood Pressure Guidelines

by Dr. Lazowski

A lot of our patients ask us about normal blood pressure values. High blood pressure continues to be a growing problem in the United States during the past decade, according to a recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The overall death rate from high blood pressure has increased 23 percent since 2000, even as the death rate from all other causes has dropped 21 percent. That spike was seen in both genders and was most marked among those aged 45 to 64 and those over 85.

Recently issued updated guidelines set blood pressure goals for people with heart disease. The guidelines reinforce a target blood pressure of less than 140/90 mm Hg for those at risk for heart attack and stroke. Those patients that already had heart attack, stroke, diabetes mellitus, narrowing of their leg arteries or an abdominal aortic aneurysm should aim at blood pressure less than 130/80. Ultimately, the blood pressure goal any individual patient tries to achieve should be left to the discretion of the doctor and the patient. Some patients, who are older might benefit from less aggressive blood pressure control, as they might feel tired and dizzy when blood pressure is too low.

New guidelines by American College of Cardiology and American Society of Hypertension, were published on March 31 in the journal Hypertension.

The drugs that are effective for blood pressure control include beta-blockers (they slow the heart rate and reduce the force of cardiac contraction, angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) and angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors) that increase the size of blood vessels, thus lowering blood pressure, and diuretics (lower blood pressure by reducing the amount of fluid in the body).

For more information about blood pressure visit American Heart Association page.

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The purpose of this website is to promote broad patient understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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