Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Blood pressure: 100 million Americans may be unnecessarily labeled abnormal

Date:
March 21, 2011
Source:
Springer Science+Business Media
Summary:
Current US definition of 'normal' blood pressure may unnecessarily label 100 million Americans as 'abnormal.'

As many as 100 million Americans may currently be misclassified as having abnormal blood pressure, according to Dr. Brent Taylor from the Veterans Affairs Health Care System in Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota and his colleagues. Their findings show that these people are not actually more likely to die prematurely than those with 'normal' blood pressure, i.e. below 120/80.

Related Articles


Taylor and colleagues' article in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, published by Springer, also shows that in those under 50, diastolic blood pressure* is the more important predictor of mortality, whereas in those over 50, systolic blood pressure* is the stronger predictor. The authors argue it is time to consider a new definition of 'normal' blood pressure.

Taylor and colleagues examined the independent contribution of diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and systolic blood pressure (SBP) on mortality, as well as how these relationships might affect the number of Americans currently labeled as having abnormal blood pressure.

The authors looked at data for 13,792 people from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which enrolled participants in 1971-76 and followed them up for two decades -- they studied DBP, SBP and long-term survival data specifically. In order to assess the underlying distribution of untreated blood pressure in American adults by age, Taylor and team also looked at data for 6,672 adults from the first National Health Examination Survey carried out between 1959 and 1962.

They found that in people aged over 50, those with SBPs above 140, independent of DBP, were significantly more likely to die prematurely. In those aged 50 or less, DBPs above 100 were linked to significant increases in premature death. The authors' analysis offers alternative cut-off points for the definition of 'normal'.

Dr. Taylor concludes: "Our findings highlight that the choice of approach used to define normal blood pressure will impact literally millions of Americans. If we cannot reliably see an effect on mortality in a large group of individuals followed for nearly 20 years, should we define the condition as abnormal? We believe considering this kind of approach represents a critical step in ensuring that diagnoses are given only to those with a meaningful elevation in risk, and targeted towards individuals most likely to benefit."

* Diastolic blood pressure is the lowest pressure within the bloodstream, occurring between heart beats i.e. when the heart relaxes. Systolic blood pressure is the highest pressure within the bloodstream, occurring during each heart beat i.e. when the heart contracts.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer Science+Business Media. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Brent C. Taylor, Timothy J. Wilt, H. Gilbert Welch. Impact of Diastolic and Systolic Blood Pressure on Mortality: Implications for the Definition of 'Normal'. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 2011; DOI: 10.1007/s11606-011-1660-6

Cite This Page:

Springer Science+Business Media. "Blood pressure: 100 million Americans may be unnecessarily labeled abnormal." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110309101807.htm>.
Springer Science+Business Media. (2011, March 21). Blood pressure: 100 million Americans may be unnecessarily labeled abnormal. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110309101807.htm
Springer Science+Business Media. "Blood pressure: 100 million Americans may be unnecessarily labeled abnormal." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110309101807.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) — Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins