Tags: blood pressure | aging | stroke | heart attack

Is Low Blood Pressure Better?

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Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 04:22 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Is blood pressure less than 120/80 mmHg healthier than higher blood pressure?

Scientists randomly assigned 9,361 subjects with systolic blood pressure of 130 mmHg or higher and increased cardiovascular risk — but without diabetes — to two groups.

The intensive treatment group had a systolic blood-pressure target of less than 120 mmHg, while the standard treatment group had a systolic blood pressure target of less than 140 mmHg.

The end point of the study was the difference in heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, and death from cardiovascular causes.

Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the study was stopped early at 3.26 years due to a 27 percent lower all-cause mortality rate in the intensively treated group.

Media headlines proclaimed that lower blood pressure is better than higher blood pressure. But I can assure you there is not one optimal number for every person at every age.

Normal blood pressure rises with age because as we age, our arteries become stiffer.

It is simply ludicrous to believe that an 80-year-old should have the same blood pressure as a 20-year-old.

Setting blood pressure guidelines for everyone at 120 mmHg more or less guarantees that nearly every adult over the age of 40 will require blood pressure medication to meet the guidelines.

What was not reported in the media was the absolute risk difference between the two groups.

Instead, the media reported the less-accurate relative risk difference — 25 percent reduction in the primary cardiovascular endpoints, and 27 percent reduction in all-cause mortality.

The absolute risk difference between the two groups was 1.6 percent in the primary outcome, and 1.2 percent in all-cause mortality.

Therefore, in order to prevent any cardiovascular endpoint (stroke, heart attack, heart failure, or death) you would need to treat 62 patients for 3.26 years to prevent one event.

That means the treatment group failed 98 percent (61 out of 62) of the time.

When you factor in the serious adverse effects of maintaining a very low pressure, I say forget about it.

This study is another example of the powers that be trying to scare us into taking more unnecessary drugs.

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Dr-Brownstein
Setting blood pressure guidelines for everyone at 120 mmHg more or less guarantees that nearly every adult over the age of 40 will require blood pressure medication to meet the guidelines.
blood pressure, aging, stroke, heart attack
352
2017-22-19
Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 04:22 PM
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