Thursday, August 29, 2013

Over diagnosis—Hypertension

This is a series of key points from the 2013 book, Overdiagnosis, Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health, by H. Gilbert Welch of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy. There is no doubt that treatment of severe hypertension is effective in preventing heart attacks and strokes. But you should be aware that you have to treat 18 people to prevent one of these bad events if they have only mild hypertension (diastolic 90-100). That means that there is only a 6% chance of benefit. That 6% might be important for you if you are one of the victims. However, this relatively low level of risk might make you consider more natural ways to control the blood pressure, such as weight loss, stress reduction, herbs and vitamins instead of the drugs, which are more likely to cause side effects. Celebration of Health Association website

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