Change in blood pressure guidelines puts seniors at risk

blood-pressureChanges to blood pressure guidelines are putting seniors at risk for under treatment, according to a study. Currently, one-third of American adults have hypertension, which contributes to fatal heart disease.

Blood pressure guideline changed in 2014, when the Joint National Committee released their eighth update. For those over the age of 60, healthy blood pressure guidelines went from < 140/90 mmHg to < 150/90 mmHg. For people with chronic kidney disease changes in blood pressure guidelines went from < 130/90 mmHg to < 140/90 mmHg.


Researchers at the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation said these changes put seniors at higher risk for under treatment. This is largely due to age being a factor to one’s cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. The older one is, the higher chance they have to develop CVD.

The recent study reviewed the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities cohort, whose aim was to understand the prevalence of blood pressure control and the use of anti-hypertensive medications. The participants varied in race and included more than 6,000 individuals.

Researchers found that 16.6 percent of participants, with the new guidelines, would be classified as “at goal” in regards to their blood pressure numbers. These people would not receive antihypertensive medications. Additionally, 20 percent of the cohort was still above the new, set goals. Researchers found that one-in-five individuals were above the old and new goal, meaning more has to be done to detect and control blood pressure in aging adults.

These findings were published online in Hypertension.


Author Bio

Emily Lunardo studied medical sociology at York University with a strong focus on the social determinants of health and mental illness. She is a registered Zumba instructor, as well as a Canfit Pro trainer, who teaches fitness classes on a weekly basis. Emily practices healthy habits in her own life as well as helps others with their own personal health goals. Emily joined Bel Marra Health as a health writer in 2013.