When Guidelines Cause Hypertension

The 2017 ACC/AHA Hypertension Guidelines1 lowered the threshold for diagnosing hypertension from a blood pressure of ≥140/90 mm Hg to ≥130/80 mm Hg. In the United States, this effectively increases the number of adults diagnosed as “hypertensive” from 72 to 103 million.2 It has been stated that “by reclassifying people formerly considered to have pre-hypertension as having hypertension, the Guidelines create a new level of disease affecting people previously deemed healthy.”2

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