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Acta Médica Costarricense

On-line version ISSN 0001-6002Print version ISSN 0001-6012


ARGUEDAS-QUESADA, José Agustín. Evidence based medicine: the case of blood pressure targets. Acta méd. costarric [online]. 2017, vol.59, n.3, pp.90-94. ISSN 0001-6002.

The concept of “Evidence Based Medicine”, which has achieved greater importance during the last years, is based on the idea that teaching and practicing clinical medicine, as well as the definition of health policies at the population level, should be supported by solid scientific evidences showing that there is an adequate relationship between the benefits and potential risks associated with the practical implementation of any preventive, diagnostic, or therapeutic intervention. Unfortunately, many of the usual actions in medical practice do not fulfill those conditions, which may result in inappropriate use of available resources and exposure of patients to unnecessary risks. “Evidence Based Medicine” starts from an exhaustive critical inquiry of the clinical studies that have evaluated a specific issue, in order to identify the available evidence with higher quality and scientific support, and from there to perform a quantitative analysis that allows determining if the benefits/risks balance justifies its clinical application. In addition, it is a dynamic process, whose results can be gradually modified as new quality evidence emerges, with the final objective of improving medical care. The case of blood pressure targets used in the treatment of arterial hypertension is a topic that has been subjected in recent years to the process of analysis of the evidence. As a result, changes and implications have occurred both at clinical and academic levels, and it serves as an example to illustrate the process described above.

Keywords : evidence based medicine; blood pressure targets; arterial hypertension.

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