A new study has found that cutting blood pressure than the recommended level can significantly save more lives of people in their 50s. The findings were announced by the National Institutes of Health on Friday, and its strong benefit made NIH to stop the study a year early.
Dr. Gary Gibbons, director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, which sponsored the study said they think that this study will clearly have an impact on patient care on those with hypertension.
Lowering blood pressure than the usual recommended level can reduce the rate of heart attacks, heart failure, strokes and deaths. Till now, scientists were debating the type of treatment for blood-pressure patients as they get older. However, researchers advise that they shouldn’t alter patient care just yet, but if the results work out they could evaluate treatment guidelines.
“This study certainly supports that lower is better,” said Dr. Mark Creager, president of the American Heart Association, who was not involved in the study.
About one in three adults in the U.S have high blood pressure that could lead to heart attacks, strokes and other health problems. Currently, guidelines recommend that the systolic blood pressure to a maximum of 140 millimeters of mercury, and it is also considered as more important of the two readings. About 9,300 adults participated in the NHLBI sponsored study, which began in 2009. The systolic pressure of one half was brought down to 140, and the other half was shot down to 120.
Gibbons said that reducing systolic blood pressure to 120 or lower reduced heart attacks, strokes and heart failure by almost a third and the risk of death by almost a quarter. Researchers said the findings will be published in a journal by year-end. Gibbons and Creager added that the findings would lead to new guidelines, but doctors are likely to apply the method sooner.[ Source ]