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May 21, 2003

JNC 7—It's More Than High Blood Pressure

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: CardioVision 2020, Olmsted County, Minn (Dr Kottke); Division of Community Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic and Foundation, Rochester, Minn (Dr Stroebel); and Rebecca Hoffman Inc, San Francisco, Calif (Ms Hoffman).

JAMA. 2003;289(19):2573-2575. doi:10.1001/jama.289.19.2573

The World Health Organization has estimated that high blood pressure causes 1 in every 8 deaths worldwide, making hypertension the third leading killer in the world.1 The JNC 7 report,2 published in this issue of THE JOURNAL, summarizes how the burden of hypertension can be decreased. Among the messages emphasized is that systolic blood pressure control should be the focus of treatment. Cardiovascular risk from systolic hypertension begins at 115 mm Hg and risk from diastolic hypertension begins at 75 mm Hg. Individuals who are normotensive at 55 years have a 90% likelihood of developing high blood pressure during the next 25 years, and lowering blood pressure toward the new goal level of 120/80 mm Hg will decrease heart attacks, heart failure, stroke, kidney disease, and will save lives.