In December 2003, the National High Blood Pressure Education Program of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute finalized the Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure, called JNC 7.
OVERVIEW AND CONCLUSIONS:
On the basis of new trials and observational studies, and the need for clear and concise guidelines, the JNC implemented changes in blood pressure classification, nomenclature, treatment and prevention in the JNC 7 report. One of the key messages of the report is that systolic blood pressure higher than 140 millimeters of mercury in people older than 50 years of age is a more important risk factor than diastolic blood pressure. Another finding is that people with normal blood pressure at the age of 55 to 65 years have an 80 to 90 percent risk of developing hypertension by the age of 80 to 85 years.
JNC 7 emphasizes that health care professionals besides physicians, including dentists, need to help patients by reinforcing hypertension-related lifestyle modifications, pharmacological therapies and adherence to treatment.