Drugs meant to lower blood pressure (BP) can potentially safeguard the lives of those at risk of heart problems even if their BP is normal.
A recent research, led by Kazem Rahimi of the University of Oxford, which has analysed 123 medical trials spanning over 600,000 individuals throughout 20 years shows that blood pressure should be reduced to a lower level than the one recommended. The authors of the paper, therefore, urge for treatment to be modified to accommodate for their finding as the new figures point at a great resulting decrease in the occurrence of heart diseases.
As per the current standards set by the American Heart Association, a normal BP should be below 120/80 mmHg while 140/90 and above will be categorised as high BP. The ratio that represents BP is a measure of systolic pressure over diastolic one.
The new findings suggest that every 10 mmHg decrease in systolic BP, the risk of heart attack decreased by around a fifth, while that of stroke and heart failure decreases by 25 % and the risk of death resulting from any cause, by 13 %.
Furthermore, this was noted among different high-risk patients, regardless of whether their BP was already below 130 mmHg.
“Our results provide strong support for lowering blood pressure to systolic blood pressures less than 130 mmHg,” write the authors.
Therefore, the researchers recommend that the BP guidelines are reviewed. They also include those pertaining to the European Society of Hypertension.