Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The lowdown on blood pressure--sort of

An ideal blood pressure, for years, has been 120/80. Yet, many people have a top number of 140-150, even if on medication.

You probably heard that some researchers think that is passe for people 50 and over---maybe it needs to be even lower to prevent cardio events and deaths.

One in three adults in the US suffers from high blood pressure. Adults over 54 and blacks are particularly vulnerable.

National Institutes of Health did a study called the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial and was so impressed with the results, they stopped it early so they could share the results.

Apparently many people being treated for hypertension were hitting a top number of 140--not 120. If it could be kept at 120, according to these findings, heart attack, stroke, and heart failure would be reduced by a third. Or so preliminary data show.

So should older people shoot for this? The doctors are being cautious--awaiting the full results.

One doctor says if someone is between 120 and 140, she explores their medication, lifestyle, and other factors to see if it could go lower.

Wouldn't that take a lot of drugs? The cost of drugs, adherence, tolerance--all are factors.

People also should walk 30 mins a day, reduce weight if needed and feasible (5% reduction will help),

I take three modes of BP med for "the family curse." When I get 120 over maybe 85, I think they took it wrong.

I also think older people need SOME pressure to get blood to the top floor.

But what I think is not important--ask your doc.

No comments: