Over treatment of Mild Hypertension – Too Much Medicine? | The BMJ

Mild hypertension in people at low risk | The BMJ

As the ‘threshold’ level of hypertension has been lowered over the years, more and more people have been diagnosed with hypertension.

A 2012 Cochrane review of people with mild hypertension ( less than 160 systolic) found that treatment with an antihypertensive drug did not reduce any outcome – including total mortality, total cardiovascular events, coronary heart disease or stroke.

Nonetheless, most people with mild hypertension are commenced on pharmacological treatment.

This article in the BMJ examines the evidence and concludes:

Overemphasis on drug treatment risks adverse effects, such as increased risk of falls, and misses opportunities to modify individual lifestyle choices and tackle lifestyle factors at a public health level.

Lowering definitions of hypertension has led to identification and drug treatment of larger populations of patients despite lack of evidence that drugs reduce morbidity or mortality

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