Lower blood pressue may not be better for those with hypertension

17 June 2014

Doctors have pedalled the theory that lowering blood pressure is the best treatment for those suffering with hypertension. Now, scientists from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre have questioned the effectiveness of this method.

The research team discovered that lowering systolic blood pressure (SBP) to below 120mmHg does not appear to provide any benefit for patients.

Dr Carlos J Rodriguez, lead author of the study, said: "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 have noted a significant increase in the risk of heart disease if (SBP) rises above 115mmHg, but it was not known whether lowering it once it has surpassed 120mmHg would lower the risk of heart failure, stroke and heart attack.

However, the findings of the new study revealed that once the SBP is below 140mmHg lowering it did not reduce the risk of cardiovascular events.

Dr Rodriguez added: "These findings suggest that you don't need to go lower than that to have the benefits."

Posted by Philip Briggs

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