The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recently released its 2013 Clinical Practice Recommendations. One major revision to the Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes includes the suggestion that the systolic blood pressure or “top number” for many people with diabetes and hypertension should be <140 mmHg, but that lower systolic targets (such as < 130 mmHg) may be appropriated for certain patients, such as younger individuals, if it can be achieved without “undue treatment burden.” The previous systolic target was <130mmHg; so yes, the goal has become a little more lenient. No change was made for the diastolic or “bottom number” of < 80mmHg.
Blood pressure should be measured at every visit and patients found to have elevated blood pressure should have it confirmed on another day.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common condition affecting the majority of people with diabetes. Lifestyle therapy for elevated blood pressure includes weight loss, if overweight; the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet which recommends reduced sodium intake and increased intake of potassium, moderation of alcohol and increased physical activity. For more information on the DASH diet go to www.dashdiet.org.