Heartbeat 01-26-14

If you're one of the millions of Americans who suffer from high blood pressure, there are new guidelines when it comes to treating the condition if you're over the age of 60.
By Allison Morrison

(LUBBOCK, TX) - If you're one of the millions of Americans who suffer from high blood pressure, there are new guidelines when it comes to treating the condition if you're over the age of 60. 

"Some of the guidelines are a little looser, not necessarily because there's new research out there, but because there's a lack of evidence to create more stringent guidelines," Covenant's Lead RN Coordinator, Carla McGee said.

A panel of experts in the U.S. has released new hypertension guidelines, recommending treatment only when your blood pressure reaches 150/90 or higher.

McGee said the higher treatment threshold could be a benefit to those 60 and older.

"It may mean that they're able to take fewer medications and that could be a benefit both to their pocket book and just their overall tolerance of medications," she explained.

The updated guidelines aren't endorsed by the government.

McGee said for that, and other reasons, Covenant doctors may not commit to the idea of less aggressive treatment.

Bottom line, she said, talk to your doctor before making any moves toward fewer medications.

"I think that's our concern is that people will just cut back on their medication without medical supervision and again, under the care of their physician, they may cut back a little bit, they may not."
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