Views & Reviews From the Frontline

Why do we overtreat hypertension?

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e5923 (Published 04 September 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e5923
  1. Des Spence, general practitioner, Glasgow
  1. destwo{at}yahoo.co.uk

“Bloody GPs: sending up this dross!” When medical referrals were received the air was always thick with vitriol, cigarette smoke, and expletives. “Why don’t you send them home if you think the referrals are such rubbish?” I quizzed. The answer: “No one gets sued for admitting patients!” It’s true. No one complains about doctors who are overcautious, overinvestigating, or overtreating. Medicine was once about assessing individual risk, making decisions, and giving a balanced opinion. But in today’s climate it is simpler to intervene early and involve everyone rather than leave …

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