New blood pressure guidelines that were released last November may do more harm than good for some patients, according to a leading cardiologist whose research was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The new guidelines classify hypertension as 130 over 80 – down from 140 over 90, which means that 46 percent of U.S. adults have high blood pressure.
Dr. Robert A. Phillips and his colleagues content that, while patients at high risk for cardiovascular problems benefit from the stricter blood pressure guidelines and intensive treatment to control blood pressure, the recommendations may result in more harm and fewer benefits in patients at lower risk for heart disease.
The researchers used a model to estimate 10-year cardiovascular disease risk and found that patients with a risk of 18.2 percent or higher would benefit from aggressive blood pressure treatment, but those with lower risk would experience more benefit, and less potential harm, with standard blood pressure management. Current guidelines recommend aggressive treatment for patients whose 10-year cardiovascular risk is higher than 10 percent.