Intended for healthcare professionals


European guidelines on hypertension more flexible than those in United States

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 27 May 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:1279

Where is the bell shpaed curve?

Janice Hopkins Tanne reports on the US guidelines for diagnosing and
treating hypertension which state that the risks of cardiovascular disease
begin at 115/75 mmHg and that a systolic pressure of 120 mmHg is

In the same issue Mirerva reports a US study where hypotension was
defined as having a systolic pressure of under 110mmHg.

As a generalist, part of my job is to decide which "facts" provided
by research and/or specialist opinion I should incorporate into my
understanding of pathology.

A model where the range of systolic "normotension" is less than
interobserver error is interesting but not helpful to be.

How soon before there is no space for normality?

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

30 May 2004
Alison Munns
The Shephall Way Surgery, Stevenage SG2 9QN