Science

Aggressive Blood Pressure Control Lowers Death Rate

By Rodney Rafols , Feb 15, 2017 02:12 AM EST
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High blood pressure can cause many problems later on, such as heart disease or stroke. Lowering blood pressure has always been important. An aggressive blood pressure control lowers death rate, as researchers have noted.

Heart attack is the number one medical cause of death in the US. Its causes can include high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Both have been related to one another and are the top causes for heart disease. Researchers are now suggesting that an aggressive hypertension control could save many lives.

The current threshold for a safe blood pressure level is 140 mmHg for systolic pressure. However, Adam Bress, an assistant professor of population health sciences at the University of Utah, together with other experts have made the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT). Lowering the threshold to 120 mmHg can help in reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke significantly.

Researchers led by the University of Utah have used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2006. Using this data, the researchers have found 2,000 men and women who met SPRINT criteria. In this way the researchers were able to make the projected 107,500 lives that could be saved yearly through an aggressive hypertension control.

Doctors would try to get systolic pressure down to 140 mmHg. The study has found that the optimum level should be below 120 mmHg, according to the University of Utah Health Care's site. Aggressive hypertension control means taking three or four medications instead of just one or two in order to control blood pressure.

Spending a bit more on the part of patients might be hard in the short term, but the long term benefits of a lower blood pressure would outweigh it. Bress has said that one of three Americans have hypertension. That would be around 80 million Americans who have high blood pressure.

More research is being done as to determine what type of people should be in the SPRINT program, as Science Daily reports. Considerations could include age group and any other underlying risk factor that might affect blood pressure. For the study, Bress and other researchers have looked into people who were 50 years and older and has no history of diabetes and stroke.

Looking after blood pressure is critical. An aggressive blood pressure control lowers death rate. A study has found that married couples have lower stress hormone.

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