Historically, most medical practitioners have tried to achieve control of systolic pressure the higher of the two blood pressure readings to 140 or less.

Recently changed guidelines in US now suggest that for adults over 60, keeping the systolic pressure at 150 or less is adequate, and a broad review of the use of medications to reduce blood pressure confirmed this.

"The goal of a systolic pressure at or below 140 has been around a long time, and there's still skepticism among some practitioners about accepting a higher blood pressure," said lead author of the study, Leah Goeres from the Oregon State University in US.

"Keeping systolic blood pressure in older adults below 150 is important, it is what we consider a mild level of control," Goeres added.

"But for older people that level is also good enough. After an extensive review, there was no significant evidence that more intensive management is necessary," Goeres said.

The issue about how low is low enough, researchers say, is important because blood pressure medications can have unwanted side effects, which increase as higher dosages of medications are used.

High blood pressure is a serious health concern but also one of the most treatable with medication if things such as diet, exercise, weight management or lifestyle change prove to be inadequate.

The research was published in the journal Drugs and Aging.

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