Singapore to keep 140/90 threshold for hypertension

Singapore will stick to the current 140/90 blood pressure reading to indicate hypertension, instead of adopting the American Heart Association's recommendation of going with the stricter 130/80.
Singapore will stick to the current 140/90 blood pressure reading to indicate hypertension, instead of adopting the American Heart Association's recommendation of going with the stricter 130/80. PHOTO: ST FILE

Singapore will stick to the current 140/90 blood pressure reading to indicate hypertension, instead of adopting the American Heart Association's recommendation of going with the stricter 130/80.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) said that not only is the former value used in Europe and Australia, but the new guideline also does little to change the way hypertension is managed. Even if more people are defined as hypertensive, most will continue to not require medication. Instead, they should make lifestyle changes such as having a balanced diet, avoiding excess salt intake and having regular exercise.

Dr Chia Shi-Lu, head of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Health, also pointed out that "a person does not suddenly tip over from being healthy to unhealthy at a particular (blood pressure) point". Still, MOH will continue to review the evidence of the new guidelines and how they apply to the local population.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 18, 2017, with the headline 'Singapore to keep 140/90 threshold for hypertension'. Print Edition | Subscribe