Too many on meds for mild hypertension?

North American researchers with an interest in quality use of medicines have argued in a BMJ analysis that it’s become widely accepted that treating mild hypertension — defined as 140—159 systolic and 90—99 diastolic pressure — at an early stage reduces the risk of myocardial infarction (MI). As a result, doctors were treating at increasingly lower levels, so that it seemed “having hypertension is now virtually synonymous with taking a medication for it”. 

According to the authors, the rationale for the continuing push to get BP to “normal” levels is based on a “leap of faith” that even mildly elevated BP in low-risk people increases their risk of cardiovascular events.

“Although raised blood pressure is correlated with cardiovascular

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