Is 130/80 the New Normal in Blood Pressure? Indian Docs Call for Revision

Indian doctors have advocated a revision in the values of blood pressure to 130/80 or lower from the current 140/90, citing new American and European guidelines.C. Venkata S. Ram, senior consultant at Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad, and founder member of the American Society of Hypertension believes that blood pressure levels higher than 130/80 should be viewed as a “warning signal” of impending disease progression and complications of hypertension.

The Indian Hypertension Guidelines, published in 2013 in the Journal of the Association of Physicians of India, define blood pressure levels between 130-139/80-89 as “high normal”, 120-129/below 80 as “normal”, and below 120/below 80 as “optimal”.

With such guidelines, a lot of doctors end up considering view readings slightly below 140/90 – for instance, 137/88 – as acceptable.
“This needs to change, the goal should be 130/80 or below,” said Ram, who has argued, in a commentary published on Sunday in the Indian Heart Journal, that 130-80 should be the “non-negotiable therapeutic goal” for Indians.Hypertension is the most prevalent public health issue that contributes to the maximum number of deaths and disease. Our understanding of hypertension has been dynamic and concepts need to be constantly redefined in light of new evidences and discoveries.

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