Scientists have determined that lowering pressure below normal levels could hammer heart disease.
A surprising new study has found that controlling high blood pressure has a massive impact on heart disease — even more than had been previously thought.
Researchers are suggesting that the new study, published by the National Institutes of Health, indicates that doctors should be more aggressive in treating patients over 50 who have high blood pressure, according to an Associated Press report.
Patients who were able to reduce their blood pressure below recommended levels slashed their risk of heart disease and death, the NIH study found. This is potentially life-saving information that could change the way treatments are done, Dr. Gary Gibbons, the director of NIH’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, said according to the report.
While high blood pressure has long been associated with heart disease and death, scientists have debated whether reducing blood pressure below recommended levels of necessary or even beneficial, particularly as patients age. The results from NIH are preliminary, but are considered so strong that the study was stopped a year early.
The study very clearly supports the idea that the lower the blood pressure is, the better. This finding could save a huge amount of lives.
About 1 in 3 adults in the United States have high blood pressure. This can lead to complications like heart attacks, stroke, kidney failure, and other assorted health issues. A normal blood pressure is 120 over 80, whereas a high blood pressure would be more in the range of 140 over 90.
NIH examined about 9,300 high blood pressure patients beginning in 2010 for the study. About half received two medications for lower pressure below 140, while the other half got three medications that reduced blood pressure below 120. The results were clear: more aggressively treated patients saw their risk of death decline by 25 percent compared to the other patients, and the rates of cardiovascular problems declined by 30 percent in the more aggressive group.