New Seniors High Blood Pressure Guidelines 2014

Hypertension or High Blood Pressure 158/99

High Blood Pressure Reading. 158/99 mmHg

In early 2014, results from a new study published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) made a recommendation for high blood pressure treatment for seniors above 60 to commence at the 150/90 mmHg reading, rather than the current definition of 140/90.

This could mean less medications for seniors who have previously been diagnosed as having high blood pressure. Nevertheless, it is still important to pay attention. Blood pressure measurements that are 120/80 and above are still be considered higher than normal and belong to pre-hypertension levels. Besides appropriate medical attention and medications, good diets and a healthy lifestyles all play a role.

What Is High Blood Pressure?

Hypertension or high blood pressure is a health condition wherein the force of blood flow against the arteries’ walls increases. It is also known as essential hypertension, benign essential hypertension, HBP, HTN. It is a common health condition to senior citizens from ages 60 and above.

Hypertension is a chronic ailment that can lead to certain conditions such as stroke, heart attacks, heart failure, aneurysms, peripheral arterial disease, chronic kidney disease and more. We understand that due to these medical risks, many seniors with hypertension also subscribe to home medical alert systems so they can get help quickly whenever a medical situation develops. Often, the delayed response to the initial impact of a medical situation creates further repercussions down the road.

Blood Pressure Levels

Blood pressure (BP) is determined by the systolic and diastolic readings. Systolic reading is determined when the heart contracts, where maximum pressure is exhibited. Diastolic reading, on the other hand, is determined when the heart is relaxed, where minimum pressure is exhibited. A normal BP has a systole of 120 mmHg or below and a diastole of 80 mmHg and below. Commonly, the reading is recorded as 120/80, indicating normal blood pressure.

A blood pressure reading of above 120/80 or below 140/90 is the pre-hypertension stage.

During hypertension or high blood pressure, the reading elevates to 140/90 and higher.

Medical evidences have shown that anyone can experience hypertension no matter what age, race or gender.

Why Does Hypertension Occur?

Some of the causes of hypertension are the narrowing of arteries, higher volume of blood flow, faster beating of the heart, or blockage of the arteries. Also, it can arise from previous medical condition experienced by the patient. Most of the time, this condition does not exhibit any symptoms and attacks without any warning.

Although there is no cure for hypertension, it can be prevented by the change of lifestyle, proper diet and exercise and by taking medications.

High Blood Pressure Study

In the study published in JAMA, new recommendations for treatment and prevention of hypertension was published. The report is entitled “2014 Evidence-Based Guideline for the Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults,” and was from panel members appointed to the Eighth Joint National Committee.

The generalization was based from the observations gathered from a group of adults over 18 years old and has hypertension. In particular, the study focused on the age bracket of 60 and over because it is the most affected age group for hypertension.

High Blood Pressure in Seniors 60+

The adults were selected and grouped based on their medical conditions, their age group, gender, race and ethnic groups, and if they are smokers or not. The recommendations of the study included having a goal for seniors aged 60 and over to maintain their blood pressure levels below 150/90. The standard of 140/90 is still the defined level for adults 18 and older.

Parting Words & More Information

The study has set guidelines to manage hypertension while reducing the intake of medications. However, this should not be used by clinicians as a source of clinical judgement. This can only be used as a guide but careful consideration must be done because different patients need specific medical attention depending on their circumstances. For more information, please see the Journal of American Medical Association.

For more information on addressing high blood pressure in seniors, check out this related article High Blood Pressure In Seniors: What To Do About It.

For a general overview on medical alert systems, check out the introductory guide here.

Top Image Credit: Steven Fruitsmaak, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0

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