A "mild" control of systolic blood pressure should be fine for adults age 65 or older, a new research reveals.
The research at Oregon State University suggests that for adults over 60, keeping the systolic pressure at 150 or less is adequate.
Lead author Leah Goeres said that the goal of a systolic pressure at or below 140 has been around a long time, and there's still skepticism among some practitioners about accepting a higher blood pressure.
Goeres added that keeping systolic blood pressure in older adults below 150 is important, it's what we consider a mild level of control, but for older people that level is also good enough and after an extensive review, there was no significant evidence that more intensive management is necessary.
Researchers said that the issue about how low is low enough and is important because blood pressure medications can have unwanted side effects that increase as higher dosages of medications are used.
High blood pressure is a serious health concern, but also one of the most treatable with medication, if such things as diet, exercise, weight management or lifestyle change prove inadequate.
Hypertension is often called the "silent killer" because it causes few obvious symptoms, but it weakens blood vessels and has been linked to higher levels of heart attacks, kidney disease and especially stroke.
In this study, the researchers did not find that one approach or another to lowering blood pressure stood out and was clearly better than other alternatives and a variety of medications can be used to treat the condition.
The study is published in Drugs and Aging.