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New guidelines relax blood pressure goals

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f7621 (Published 24 December 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f7621
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

In a major revision to treatment goals, an expert panel has concluded that older hypertensive patients, those aged 60 years or older, should be treated to a blood pressure target of less than 150/90 mm Hg, rather than 140/90 mm Hg as recommended in previous guidelines.1

The panel, the Eighth Joint National Committee, was made up of 17 experts initially convened by the US National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute (NHLBI) to update existing recommendations for the management of hypertension. The panel limited its evidence review to randomized controlled trials.

For younger patients, those 30 through 59 years of age, the panel recommended a diastolic treatment goal of under 90 mm Hg, but found there was insufficient evidence to set a goal for systolic blood pressure for patients younger than 60 years or for a diastolic goal for those …

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