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ACP, AAFP Raise BP Rx Threshold for Healthy Adults Over 60

Guideline says therapy should begin after systolic BP meets or exceeds 150 mm Hg, not 140

african american man getting blood pressure checked

TUESDAY, Jan. 17, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Two leading medical organizations are recommending a less aggressive target for the treatment of hypertension in adults 60 and older who are otherwise healthy. The new clinical practice guideline was published online Jan. 17 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The new guideline says doctors should now begin treatment when adults 60 and older have persistent systolic blood pressure at or above 150 mm Hg, to reduce their risk of cardiovascular events, stroke, and death.

A less aggressive target like this offers a suitable balance of benefits and potential harms for these patients, according to the new guideline from the American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Any additional benefit from more aggressive treatment is small, the groups say.

Exceptions include recommendations for adults 60 and older with a history of stroke or transient ischemic attack. Doctors should aim to achieve a systolic blood pressure of less than 140 mm Hg, to reduce these patients' risk of recurrent stroke. And based on individual assessment, doctors should also consider doing the same for adults aged 60 and older who are deemed to be at high risk for cardiovascular events, according to the guidelines.

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