Is your blood pressure high? According to the new guidelines, it may be high now.
For most of us, visiting the doctor includes their documentation of what we weigh and what our blood pressure is. If you pressure is too high it can increase the risk of a stroke or other vascular event. If it is too low, it may mean we are having a different type of problem that may require medical attention.
Recently, as reported in the Washington Post, The American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology and nine other groups redefined high blood pressure recommendations based on the current literature. What is not spoken about is that these organizations have ties to big pharma, who will benefit greatly from reducing the top number from 140 to 130 which effectively means more of us now have a blood pressure level that is considered to be at risk. Did they play a part in convincing these groups to change the prior recommendation?
The new recommendation, a reading of 130 over 80, down from 140 over 90 will redefine hypertensive individuals to be 46 percent of the population.
Could it be that so many of us are so unhealthy, and will now need to be on a medication to reduce our risk? Were we at risk before the numbers were lowered, yet we managed to live our lives fully without the need of a prescription from your doctor?
Another way to look at it is were you unhealthy before the guideline changed? Does one size fits all recommendations like this have any meaning if our body functions well within its limits before the guidelines changed?
The is also evidence that over treatment by doctors on seniors may have also caused them to have strokes and dementia, while doctors followed “guidelines”. This was featured on 60 minutes, and was based on a study spanning 20-30 years of people over 80 years of age.
This is not a rant on the system, but a post to raise awareness that guidelines still depend on the reasonable nature of your doctor who may look at these guidelines and scoff at them. On the other hand, certain plans grade the way doctors work and if they do not tow the line, they may be penalized financially.
While this makes a great headline, it is likely that you can decide for yourself what is good for you. Is there a health benefit for more of us being on a diuretic. Is it possible that some other body system is the reason your blood pressure is elevated and will lowering your pressure have an undesirable effect on another body system?
As a patient, unfortunately, sometimes you need to make the decision on what to do and how to do it. My professional advice would be to purchase your own blood pressure cuff for about $55 and if your blood pressure stays within a reasonable normal range of 140/90 to 130/80, your blood pressure is fine. If you see it spike upward, it is time to see your doctor. Managing healthcare by the numbers is not a great idea and it certainly is not healthcare. On the other hand, spikes in blood pressure may mean there is a problem that needs to be checked out.