SINGAPORE: Singapore will not be adopting the new guidelines for high blood pressure that the American Heart Association (AHA) has recommended, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Thursday (Nov 16).
The new AHA guidelines now define hypertension or high blood pressure as more than 130/80mmHg in its latest Clinical Guidelines for Hypertension, shifting from the previous limit of 140/90mmHg.
An MOH spokesperson explained that the AHA’s guidelines were developed in the context of the US population. Moreover, they do not change the approach to blood pressure management in a major way.
The new guidelines incorporate and define patients with Stage 1 hypertension as someone with a systolic blood pressure between 130 and 139, and diastolic blood pressure between 80 and 89.
MOH said that low-risk Stage 1 hypertensive patients are not recommended medication, although treatment is recommended for those with a previous cardiovascular event, or patients with diabetes or chronic kidney disease who are at high risk for an event.
MOH will continue to review the supporting evidence of the new AHA guidelines and its applicability to the local population.
The spokesperson said that blood pressure can be kept in the healthy range by having a balanced diet, avoiding excess salt intake, having regular physical activity and not smoking.
Individuals are encouraged to adopt and maintain healthy living to reduce their risk of hypertension and its associated cardiovascular complications such as heart attack, stroke and renal failure.