SPRINT study

New Blood Pressure Guidelines

In December 2013 an expert panel on hypertension published its latest recommendations in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In essence these are the recommendations:  1. The target BP for patients over 60 is now 150/90. It used to be 140/90.  2. There is insufficient evidence to support a target systolic blood pressure for people under the age of 60.  3. Reduction of one risk factor (in this case hypertension)  for heart attacks, strokes and premature death by using a drug does not in and of itself mean that patients are less likely to suffer these events. These recommendations make sense to me because as we age, the compliance of our blood vessels decreases, they become less flexible and our blood pressure rises over time. To try and maintain an otherwise healthy patient over 60 to a BP of 120/80 never made much sense to me.