DOH open to adopting US’ lower standard for hypertension

By , on November 21, 2017


FILE: Health Secretary Dr. Francisco Duque III (Photo: Department of Health (Philippines)/Facebook)
FILE: Health Secretary Dr. Francisco Duque III (Photo: Department of Health (Philippines)/Facebook)

MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) is open to the possibility of adopting locally the lower level of high blood pressure that was set by the United States.

“Nothing wrong with it,” said DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III, when asked about the recent BP adjustment in the US. “It’s okay. Nothing wrong with being a bit more conservative when it comes to certain standards.”

Duque, however, said his department is inclined to first consult local experts, such as the Philippine Heart Association, to discuss the matter and come up with a final position.

“We’ll be coordinating with our own professional societies, so that we can come up with our official position, whether we follow these new guidelines from the US or not,” he said.

On a personal note, though, Duque said he believes the amended US guidelines would be beneficial to those bordering on being hypertensive.

“Ultimately, lowering the high blood pressure level to 130 over 80 will be for the benefit of the people,” said the health chief.

He also reminded that there are also a lot of healthy lifestyle interventions that can be done to prevent hypertension.

The American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and nine other groups redefined high blood pressure as a reading of 130 over 80, down from 140 over 90.

The move comes after the medical experts recognized that blood pressures that were previously seen as normal or so-called pre-hypertensive actually place patients at significant risk for heart disease, death, and disability. (PNA)