Deconstructing JNC 7 – Part 3

JNC 7 report has introduced a new classification that includes the term “prehypertension” for those with BPs ranging from 120–139 mmHg systolic and/or 80–89 mmHg diastolic.

This designation is intended to identify those individuals in whom early intervention by adoption of healthy lifestyles could reduce BP, decrease the rate of progression of BP to hypertensive levels with age, or prevent hypertension entirely.

Another change in classification from JNC 6 is the combining of stage 2 and stage 3 hypertension into a single “stage 2” category. This revision reflects the fact that the approach to the management of the former two groups is similar.

Prehypertension is not a disease category. Rather, it is a designation chosen to identify individuals at high risk of developing hypertension, so that both patients and clinicians are alerted to this risk and encouraged to intervene and prevent or delay the disease from developing.

The higher the BP, the greater the chance of heart attack, HF, stroke, and kidney diseases.

The statements above are straight from the JNC 7. JNC 6 classifications were unsatisfactory in regards to treatment modifications. Simplifying the table makes for easy office use and explanation to the patients involved.

The presence of each additional risk factor compounds the risk from hypertension.

As seen in the chart even with normal BP, a patient’s risk for a coronary event is higher as the risk factors like a low HDL, cigarette smoking, diabetes, and high total cholesterol appears. So it’s not just important to control BP but also to minimize risk factors.


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