A new National Health Study of 9,361 adults age 50 or older concluded that current blood pressure standards are too high. Existing standards call for a systolic blood pressure of 140 or lower.
The patients in this study were randomly assigned to receive standard hypertension treatment or more aggressive treatment in order to lower systolic blood pressure to 120 or below. During the three year course of this study those who were treated more aggressively had a 25% lower incidence of heart attacks and the death rate dropped by 43%.
Most of us grew up in a time period when lowering systolic blood pressure to under 140 was a therapeutic success. Now we need to consider that the pressure should be even lower. This may prove to be very difficult for many people, and the side effects of the medications needed to reach this goal may be severe.
Anyway the new message is that lower blood pressure is better. What is your blood pressure? If it is a bit higher you should discuss the advice from this study with your doctor.
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