When is high blood pressure dangerous? Medical associations offer widely differing answers. In the U.S., for example, patients are seen as hypertensive at much lower pressure than patients in Germany. A team working with Prof. Karl-Heinz Ladwig of the Technical University of Munich and the Helmholtz Zentrum München has concluded that treating patients sooner does not reduce the risk of deadly heart disease, and could even negatively affect their mental health.
In 2017, the American College of Cardiology added a new category to its guidelines for high blood pressure: Stage 1 hypertension. Under the new standards, doctors are advised to place patients in this category (130-139 mmHg / 80-89 mmHg) on treatment. For the European Society of Cardiology, that range is defined as “high normal” blood pressure, with no specific action recommended.