Have High Blood Pressure? No Need to Lower It Too Much, Now

Who knew?  Lower blood pressure for people with high blood pressure isn't necessarily good.

According to newswise.com, "Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center found that lowering systolic blood pressure below 120 does not appear to provide additional benefit for patients. Systolic pressure is the top number in a standard blood pressure reading (e.g., 120/80)."

“Frequently we treat patients’ blood pressure to the lowest it will go, thinking that is what’s best,” said Carlos J. Rodriguez, M.D., associate professor of public health sciences at Wake Forest Baptist and lead author of the study.  “Our observational study found that treating to low pressures doesn’t provide any benefit to patients with regard to reducing risk of dangerous heart events like heart attack, heart failure and stroke. This calls into question the notion that lower is better.”

Previous studies had documented a progressive increase in heart disease risk as systolic blood pressure (SBP) rose above 115, but it was not known whether SBP lower than 120 in patients with hypertension (HTN) lowered the risk of heart failure, stroke and heart attack.

In the study, researchers found that among people with high blood pressure, once SBP is below 140, lowering it below 120 did not further reduce the risk of cardiovascular events.

“Our study found that the optimal blood pressure range for people with hypertension is120-139, which significantly reduces the risk of stroke, heart attack or heart failure,” Rodriguez said. “These findings suggest that you don’t need to go lower than that to have the benefits.”

Isn't it interesting how things we thought were so sure in the medical world are turning out not to be?






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