How Low Can It Go? Trends, Benefits, and Risks of Expanding the Definition of Hypertension

Alex Ng, Alan Tung

ABSTRACT

Hypertension is a strong risk factor for cardiovascular disease. However, the current criterion for hypertension in British Columbia was only recently established, and the international medical community has seen a push toward lowering blood pressure thresholds even closer toward normal levels. Is redefining this threshold truly beneficial in reducing the associated health risks? After examining the evolution of the definition of hypertension and weighing the major benefits and concerns, we support a definition based on a value where the benefits of lowering blood pressure threshold for hypertension have been proven to outweigh the harms.

KEYWORDS: hypertension; prehypertension; cardiovascular disease; aging; trends

Full text (PDF, 972KB)

Ng A, Tung A. How Low Can It Go? Trends, Benefits, and Risks of Expanding the Definition of Hypertension. UBCMJ. 2011 3(1):38-39.