December 18, 2017 – Meds and Blood Pressure


Anchor lead:   A more tailored approach to managing high blood pressure is recommended, Elizabeth Tracey reports

New management guidelines for high blood pressure have been released, and Michael Blaha, a preventive cardiologist at Johns Hopkins, says the need for antihypertensive, or blood pressure lowering medicines, is clear.

Blaha: The guidelines continue to recommend a diuretic or another similarly safe antihypertensive first, but a new part of these guidelines is to emphasize the need for multiple blood pressure agents in patients with stage two high blood pressure. Systolic over 140 and diastolic over 90. These patients commonly need at least two drugs to get their blood pressure under control.   :22

Patient participation is also crucial.

Blaha: So an important part of the new blood pressure guideline is the emphasis on home blood pressure monitoring. We know that a blood pressure taken in the office may not be representative of the patient’s true blood pressure. :11

So if you’ve been told you have high blood pressure, planning to become involved in your own care is key, Blaha says. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.