Doubts over new blood pressure targets

Controversial advice to aggressively lower blood pressure (BP) to a target of <120mmHg systolic in certain patients at increased cardiovascular (CV) risk has been adopted in Australian hypertension guidelines released today.

The recommendation, which arose from the US National Institutes of Health SPRINT study, is one of the key changes in the National Heart Foundation of Australia’s revision of its guidelines and is recommended by the RACGP.

The guidelines summary, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, says that for patients with “at least moderate CV risk” (20% 10-year risk) a BP target of <120mmHg systolic “provides benefit with some increase in treatment-related adverse effects”.

Patients being treated to a goal of <120mmHg systolic should be closely monitored to identify treatment-related adverse effects including hypotension, syncope,

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