Taking blood pressure to new lows

Published: March, 2014

The lower-is-better rule doesn't just apply to cholesterol.

Once upon a time, in a land not far away at all, a healthy blood pressure was thought to be 100 plus your age. That simple rule of thumb has gone the way of hats for men, cordiality in politics, and affordable health insurance. It was replaced in 1977 by a cutoff of 160/95 separating "normal" from high blood pressure. That cutoff continues to drift downward, steadily eroding what we think of as normal or healthy blood pressure.

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