Hyderabad: The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) has changed the baseline to measure hypertension, leaving cardiologists here to major debate as to what should be the standard.
The ESC has changed the baseline to 140/90 mm/hg from the existing 130/80 mm/hg.
Following this, the Cardiology Society of India has taken a stand that it will be 130/80 mm/hg for those below 60 years of age and 140/90 mm/hg for those who are older. The baseline remains 130/80 in the US.
Dr Ravi Shankar of CSI explained, “We are having a lot of young patients who are hypertensive. They are coming in as early as 30 years of age and require effective management. Hence we are now of the view that 130/80 mm/hg will be the baseline to manage these patients. In those above 60 years of age, the management is possible even at the baseline of 140/90 mm/hg.”
The discussions in CSI are based on the clinical evaluation where they are finding a large pool of young patients and pushing the baseline up would mean leaving them out.
Dr Manoj Aggarwal, senior cardiologist, said, “In about 10 per cent of the patients, hypertension is due to secondary causes like tumour, diseases of the adrenal gland and other conditions. This makes it important to screen them carefully. Often, these missed cases lead to strokes or sudden death.”
A major concern for cardiologists is those in the age-group of 20 to 40 years who get sudden attacks. Premature heart disease, sudden silent rhythmic changes in the heart and narrow arteries are some of the reasons, say doctors but picking them up early is a major challenge.
Stress, lifestyle changes, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, genetic disposition are some of the reasons for heart problems and cardiologists say that if any one of the external factors persists for too long evaluation is important.