19 June 2014

Blood pressure: lower – not always better

For decades, when treating patients with high blood pressure, it has been customary to adhere to the principle of "the lower the better". However, the data obtained by researchers from Wake Forest University refute the well-established belief that this approach reduces the risk of developing life-threatening pathologies of the cardiovascular system.

As part of the work, data on 4,480 participants of an earlier large-scale study (Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study) collected over 21 years were analyzed. The systolic pressure of the participants was measured at the beginning of the follow-up and subsequently at intervals of 3 years. The obtained values were classified as elevated (140 and above), standard (120-139) or low (below 120). The analysis took into account such pathologies as heart failure, ischemic stroke, myocardial infarction and death caused by coronary heart disease. The data analysis was adjusted for the following parameters: age at the beginning of the study, gender, diabetes mellitus, body mass index, blood cholesterol, smoking and alcohol consumption.

Based on the data obtained, the authors concluded that if, as a result of hypertension treatment, the systolic pressure index dropped below 140, its further decrease does not provide an additional reduction in the risk of developing cardiovascular pathologies.

However, the researchers warn that their work is not a clinical study and its results need to be confirmed. They also note that a major SPRINT clinical trial (Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial, "Study of the effect on systolic pressure") is currently underway should confirm or refute the pattern they have identified.

Article by Rodriguez et al. Systolic Blood Pressure Levels Among Adults With Hypertension and Incident Cardiovascular Events is published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

Evgeniya Ryabtseva
Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru based on the materials of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center:
Lower Isn’t Necessarily Better for People with High Blood Pressure


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