There are new guidelines recently published addressing the appropriate management of blood pressure and blood pressure targets, as follows:
- For patients over 60 years of age, the new target systolic blood pressure (top number) is 150 mmHg or lower. The previous recommendation was 140 mmHg or lower.
- For patients under 60 years of age, the target systolic blood pressure remains at 140 mmHg or lower.
- In diabetic patients, the goal for the top number continues to be less than 140 mmHg regardless of age.
It was previously thought that the lower the blood pressure, the better. It is now clear that overly strict management of blood pressure can cause problems such as decreased blood flow to the kidneys or the brain, with resultant potential damage to these organs. Thus, it is not necessary to try to achieve blood pressure of 120 mmHg anymore. The above guidelines are appropriate when determining the blood pressure level needed to reduce the risk of future cardiovascular disease.