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Panel Advises Higher Blood Pressure Threshold in Older Adults

By Staff

1/22/2014

US Pharm. 2014;29(1):3.

Chicago, IL—According to new treatment guidelines published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, many older adults with hypertension can be treated less aggressively. The definition of hypertension (140/90 mmHg) remains the same, but the Eighth Joint National Committee panel recommends that patients aged 60 years and older be prescribed medication only when their blood pressure levels reach or exceed 150/90 mmHg. Panel members noted that too-aggressive treatment can lead to fainting or falls in older patients or cause interactions with drugs being taken for other illnesses. The panel endorses the lower threshold in younger adults and those with diabetes or kidney disease, and says that physicians should base treatment decisions on patients’ individual circumstances.

To comment on this article, contact rdavidson@uspharmacist.com.

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