Q:Dr. Rowena why was it 20 years or so ago that the guidelines for optimum blood pressure was 140/90 and this was acceptable. Now it is 120/80 and they might even lower it more? Is it the big pharmaceutical companies that control these guidelines? Is it about more money?
A:It is not big pharmacy companies that are setting the standards for lowering blood pressure. A task force of doctors review clinical studies and make recommendations. Recent studies have shown that lower levels of blood pressure reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Heart disease is the leading cause of death. It kills more people than cancer. Keeping your blood pressure at 120/80 or below may extend your life.