A review of the history of hypertension studies titled “Lessons in Uncertainty and
Humility–Clinical Trials Involving Hypertension” pointed out that there is considerable
variation in interpretation of the results of various trials and in the level of
confidence placed in their findings. In spite of uncertainty about blood pressure
level goals, I suggest the following:
First, a primary objective should be the prevention of hypertension by the adoption
of a healthy lifestyle according to the Lifestyle Checklist. This includes a healthy
diet with limitation of sodium, getting to and staying at a normal weight, maintaining
a high level of physical activity, and avoiding substance abuse, including the
use of tobacco. Some individuals may also benefit from measures to manage stress.
Second, probably any systolic blood pressure above 110 mm Hg or diastolic blood
pressure above 70 mm Hg increases the risk of cardiovascular disease but by very
little at 120/80 mm Hg, a level considered normal. Lower is usually healthier, and
110/70 or 120/80 are worthy goals—but for some, perhaps many people, not obtainable
easily or at all. Furthermore, several studies suggest that there is little risk from
a blood pressure of up to 140/90 mm Hg.
Finally, if you need antihypertensive drugs to bring your blood pressure to a normal
range, do not hesitate to take them. Even if you are on effective antihypertensive
drugs, optimizing lifestyle will bring many additional health benefits.
This blog presents opinions and ideas and is intended to provide helpful general information. I am not engaged in rendering advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures and suggestions in that are presented are not in any way a substitute for the advice and care of the reader’s own physician or other medical professional based on the reader’s own individual conditions, symptoms or concerns. If the reader needs personal medical, health, dietary, exercise or other assistance or advice the reader should consult a physician and/or other qualified health professionals. The author specifically disclaims all responsibility for any injury, damage or loss that the reader may incur as a direct or indirect consequence of following any directions or suggestions given in this blog or participating in any programs described in this blog or in the book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Your Health with a Lifestyle Checklist (available in print or downloaded at Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble and elsewhere). Copyright 2021 by J. Joseph Speidel