Blood pressure too high? New research says maybe not


POSTED: Thursday, December 19, 2013 - 5:51pm

UPDATED: Friday, December 20, 2013 - 11:29am

If you have been worried about high blood pressure, you may be able to relax a bit. New guidelines were released Wednesday that suggest that people over 60 can have a higher blood pressure than previously thought.

High blood pressure is not something to be taken lightly. It is often referred to as the 'silent killer' because many times there are little or no symptoms and it can cause heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure.

One in three Americans has high blood pressure. In the past, patients were given medication if their blood pressure exceeded 140/90. But now, for patients 60 years or older, the new guidelines say their blood pressure can reach up to 150/90 without treatment.

But, local family physician, Dr. Hope Short, says this new guideline is not for everyone.

"You can't just take that information and apply it across the board to all patients," Dr. Short said.

Short said especially for people who have other health issues, the numbers are going to vary from person to person.

"A diabetic for example," Dr. Short said. "We shoot for 130/80 so this would not apply to someone with a comorbidity such as heart disease or someone that's had congestive heart failure."

But, for those who do fall into this category, getting off the medication could be a plus. Many blood pressure medications have side effects including dizziness, dry mouth, fainting and falls.

Dr. Short says if she could advise just one thing, it would be to ask your doctor before making any decisions on what is best for you.

"Take any concerns you have to your doctor," Dr. Short said. "Please don't just stop your medicine without discussing it."

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But why is "your doctor" the final authority? Why does an MD need to have the final authority? I know what works for me better than "my doctor." What about doctors from other disciplines (doctors not approved by the AMA)? My mother worshiped the MDs, but she was addicted to prescription medicines that her doctors gave her over the years. She did not enjoy life and I blame pills. My dad, on the other hand, was not a pill taker and he was a well-balanced healthy guy.

Forget being healthier than you thought, think how much you're saving the government.

New guidelines were leased by, who.... ill the AMA endorse?

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