Thousands of adults may be needlessly taking tablets for high blood pressure, doctors say.
A panel of experts in the U.S. has recommended that adults over 60 should only be prescribed medicine when their blood pressure levels reach 150 over 90 or higher.
This is due to the side effects that blood pressure tablets can cause, such as fainting and falls in older people and interaction with other medicines they are taking.
The new guidance was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
In it, the doctors stress they are not changing the definition of high blood pressure: 140/90.
And people with heart disease, diabetes or chronic kidney disease should aim for a reading of 130/80 or lower.
But they do recommend that adults aged 60 and older are given a higher treatment threshold – and only take medicine when their blood pressure levels reach 150 over 90 or higher.
Too aggressive blood pressure treatment can cause fainting and falls in older patients, or bad interactions with drugs they’re already taking for other illnesses, panel members said.
However much of the existing guidance does remain – such as giving younger adults with a reading of 140/90 medication and also those with diabetes or kidney disease.
A third of people in the UK and U.S. have high blood pressure – and a third do not realise. It is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure.
A high blood pressure reading is one that exceeds 140/90 millimetres of mercury (mm Hg).
The first figure, the systolic pressure, corresponds to the ‘surge’ that occurs with each heart beat.
The condition typically has no symptoms, so it goes undetected or untreated in many people… see more
source: dailymail UK