I’m sure you’re well aware by now that most illnesses have diagnosis and treatment guidelines that medical practitioners are advised to follow. And if you’ve been a reader of mine for a while, then you probably also know that, too often, this guidance isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.
I’m convinced that these tactics are designed to either do away with “thinking doctors,” or funnel more money to Big Pharma. And the new study I want to share with you today makes an infuriating case for both…
A whole new crop of hypertension patients
The most recent U.S. blood pressure guidelines suggest there’s a new hypertension epidemic striking Americans—one marked by elevations in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) alone.
As you might recall, back in 2017, the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) lowered their cutoff for a hypertension diagnosis from 140/90 mmHg to 130/80 mmHg.
(I should note that this change was based on “expert opinion” and not on trial data. Which makes you wonder who these so-called “experts” are—and more importantly, who they work for.)
Using this lowered guideline, researchers set out to estimate rates of diastolic hypertension, as well as its connection to heart disease, heart failure, and kidney disease. And their findings are exactly what you might expect…
The new guideline saw a 6.5 percent rate of isolated diastolic hypertension—more than quadruple the rate under the old definition (which was 1.3 percent). That makes for a whole lot more prescriptions for blood pressure meds, to say the least.
But—and believe me, this is a very big “but”—elevated diastolic blood pressure doesn’t appear to have any links to elevated heart risk. And these researchers found no significant association between isolated diastolic hypertension and atherosclerotic heart disease, heart failure, chronic kidney disease, or heart death.
And that was the case whether they used the new or old diagnosis standards.
The best guidance is to do nothing
If you have a systolic blood pressure—that’s your top number—below 130 mmHg, this study suggests that your bottom number doesn’t even really matter. Meaning there’s simply no harm in having diastolic pressure over 80 mmHg in these circumstances.
Even the chair of the guideline committee agreed that systolic blood pressure is the most important factor to consider when estimating heart risk and deciding on drug treatment.
And yet, that very same chairperson stated: “However, the writing committee wanted to provide guidance to clinicians regarding the best response to levels of diastolic blood pressure in adults.”
Huh?! They just can’t leave well enough alone, can they?
According to the science, very clearly, the best guidance is to do nothing. But these people really can’t help themselves—and as a result, they end up causing you more harm than good. And if that doesn’t infuriate you like it does me, I don’t know what will. Regardless, it must stop.
The lowered threshold for diastolic hypertension means that some 12 million Americans will now be labeled as having high blood pressure. But they don’t stand to gain a thing from that diagnosis, because treatment is downright unnecessary.
On the contrary, we all stand to lose from that diagnosis—in the form of insurance rate increases and needless, side-effect-laden prescriptions. And that’s just for starters.
So my advice to you? If nothing else, as always, think twice before heading to the pharmacy.
In fact, my Ultimate Heart Protection Protocol contains an abundant list of dietary, lifestyle, and natural supplement recommendations to prevent and reverse America’s biggest killers—high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. To learn more about this innovative online learning tool, or sign up today, click here now!
“Controversy Now Moves to New Diastolic BP Threshold.” Medscape Medical News, 01/29/2020. (medscape.com/viewarticle/924466)