Think lifestyle changes, not medications. From Medical Daily:
In 2013, Dr. Iona Heath, a retired general practitioner published an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, in which she spoke about the side effects of overtreatment and overdiagnosis of mild hypertension. Now, in a new study, researchers revisit this idea, saying that unnecessary treatment of mild hypertension in low-risk patients is harming them and putting a burden on health care resources. They also argue that there's a need to reexamine criteria for diagnosing hypertension and treating blood pressure.
About 40 percent of the world’s population, including 67 million American adults, have hypertension. Over half are classified as having mild hypertension.
More than half of people with mild hypertension are treated with drugs, but there has been no evidence to suggest that blood pressure-lowering drugs prevent heart attacks. Instead of prescribing drugs to control mild hypertension, the authors urge clinicians to recommend healthier lifestyles to patients, which include exercising, quitting smoking, and decreased alcohol consumption. They also urge clinics to improve the accuracy of blood pressure-measuring instruments and to inform patients about measuring blood pressure at home.
From Medical Xpress:
Lowering the drug threshold for high blood pressure has exposed millions of low-risk people around the world to drug treatment of uncertain benefit at huge cost to health systems, warn US experts in BMJ today. Dr Stephen Martin and colleagues argue that this strategy is failing patients and wasting healthcare resources.
Over half of people with mild hypertension are treated with medication. Yet treating low risk mildly hypertensive patients with drugs has not been proven to reduce cardiovascular disease or death. The authors argue that overemphasis on drug treatment "risks adverse effects, such as increased risk of falls, and misses opportunities to modify individual lifestyle choices and tackle lifestyle factors at a public health level."
And for those over 65 the levels can be even higher. From Science News:
A broad review of the use of medications to reduce blood pressure has confirmed that "mild" control of systolic pressure is adequate for adults age 65 or older -- in the elderly, there's no clear benefit to more aggressive use of medications to achieve a lower pressure. Historically, most medical practitioners tried to achieve control of systolic pressure -- the higher of the two blood pressure readings -- to 140 or less. Recently changed guidelines now suggest that for adults over 60, keeping the systolic pressure at 150 or less is adequate, and this extensive analysis confirms that.