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New Guidelines Issued for BP Mgmt in Coronary Artery Disease

Aim is more flexibility for those with heart disease, doctors say

WEDNESDAY, April 1, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Three leading groups of heart experts have issued updated guidelines that set blood pressure goals for people with coronary artery disease. The updated guidelines, from the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and the American Society of Hypertension, were published online March 31 in Hypertension.

Specifically, the guidelines reinforce a target blood pressure of less than 140/90 mm Hg for those at risk for heart attack and stroke. The guidelines also set a goal of 130/80 mm Hg for those with heart disease who have already had a heart attack, stroke, or a transient ischemic attack, or who have had carotid artery disease, peripheral artery disease, or an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

However, the new guidelines are intended to be more flexible than ones crafted in 2007, Clive Rosendorff, M.D., Ph.D., chairman of the committee that wrote the updated guidelines, told HealthDay. Ultimately, the blood pressure goal any individual patient tries to achieve should be left to the discretion of the doctor and the patient. For example, the lower goal may not be appropriate for older, frail patients who might experience dizziness if their blood pressure drops too much.

According to Rosendorff, one change in the updated guidelines is a concise statement about which drugs should be used to lower blood pressure in patients with heart disease. “There are three drugs which have been shown to improve outcomes,” he said. These include beta-blockers, angiotensin II receptor blockers, and angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors.

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