Don't throw away your blood pressure medication just yet
In spite of researching new guidelines, people should keep their same regimen of medications
There is new evidence suggesting that patients 60 years and older may not have to have their high blood pressure maintained so aggressively. Physicians are urging people to err on the side of caution, and continue with their regimen of medication. They point out that low blood pressure has no negative health side effects, and that all should try to maintain normal systolic pressure.
Since those with high blood pressure take medication that make them feel sick due to side effects, many discontinue it.
Furthermore, older people often suffer debilitating side-effects from being on a cocktail of drugs -- which do not make them feel better.
"Hypertension is a disorder that requires many medications and the patient doesn't feel any better when you treat them. That's what makes this a daunting condition," cardiologist Richard Krasuski, of Cleveland Clinic says.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, or NICE published new guidelines last year and will be reviewing them until 2015. The institute says that it will consider the new findings. They maintain that there is good evidence to suggest blood pressure should still be treated as dangerous over 140 over 90.
"There is a very clear relationship between blood pressure and cardiovascular events," a NICE spokesperson says. "The NICE guideline draws on an analysis of 61 prospective observational studies, involving nearly one million individuals.
"The relationship between blood pressure and disease was constant over a wide range suggesting there is no clear threshold below which further reduction in blood pressure becomes not beneficial or harmful.
"NICE is committed to ensuring that everyone is able to receive the best care and cost-effective medicines from the NHS and we will certainly consider the US studies - along with all other available evidence - when the NICE guideline on hypertension is next considered for review."
Nearly one in three people have high blood pressure in both the United States and the United Kingdom. If left untreated, the condition increases the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Blood pressure measures how strongly blood presses against the walls of your arteries as it is pumped around your body by the heart.
Studies show about 90 percent of people may eventually develop high blood pressure.
Many people who suffer from hypertension require several types of drugs for their treatment, which could be a mix of beta-blockers, diuretics, alpha-blockers, ACE inhibitors or calcium channel blockers. Side effects of the medication include fainting spells, dizziness, headache, tiredness and swollen ankles.
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