Lowering blood pressure 'could save more than 100,000 lives per year'

19 September 2016

A new study has shown the potentially widespread public health benefits of interventions to lower systolic blood pressure rates.

Systolic blood pressure is the measure describing the upper limit of a person's blood pressure range, with current guidelines recommending keeping this number below 140 mm Hg.

However, the new study from Loyola University Chicago has indicated that intensive treatment efforts to keep this number below 120 would save more than 100,000 lives per year in the US alone.

Two-thirds of the lives saved would be men and two-thirds would be aged 75 or older, with a 27 per cent reduction in mortality from all causes seen when systolic blood pressure was lowered to below 120 mm Hg.

Loyola University Chicago researcher and study first author Holly Kramer said: "When the treatment goal was lowered to a maximum of 120 mm HG, there was a huge reduction in mortality. Few other medical interventions have such a large effect."

It was noted that this could potentially lead to more instances of low blood pressure, episodes of fainting and additional electrolyte disorders, but most of these effects would not have lasting consequences and could be reversed by lowering blood pressure medication.

Posted by Edward Bartel

 


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