On Tuesday, November 14, 2017, the front page of the New York Times was headlined, “New High Blood Pressure Norm to Affect Millions.” Similar headlines were plastered across the internet and in every major news outlet.
The NYT article explained, “…the nation’s leading heart experts issued new guidelines for high blood pressure that means tens of millions more Americans will meet the criteria for the condition and will need to change their lifestyles or take medicines to treat it.” The new guidelines were based on an ongoing analysis of the 2015 Sprint study.
The Big Pharma Cartel must be celebrating as they now have millions of more customers.
When I was in medical school, we were taught that blood pressure naturally goes up with age. Guess what? That is still true. The elderly have stiffer arteries than they did when they were young and they generally require a higher blood pressure to pump their blood from the head to the toes. I was taught to add 100 to a patient’s age and the resulting number is a normal systolic blood pressure.
Since medical school, there have been many changes to what I was taught. First, the Powers-That-Be tightened the systolic (the higher number) blood pressure to read as anything less than 140 mmHg. In 2013, surprisingly, the recommendations were relaxed to less than 150 mmHg for patients 60 years and older. I wrote about this change here. I wrote that I was pleased the blood pressure recommendations were relaxed. Now, I am not so pleased. In fact, I think my blood pressure is rising as I read the new recommendations!
According to the NYT, “In formulating the guidelines, the expert committee reviewed more than 1,000…