The Benefits of Intensive Blood Pressure Control

Intensive blood pressure control in high-risk patients may boost health

(RxWiki News) Two new studies are arguing that more intensive blood pressure control could prevent heart disease in high-risk patients, as well as improve their quality of life.

Based on their findings, the studies advocate for a systolic blood pressure goal of 120 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) — a much lower goal than the standard 140 mmHg goal for high-risk heart patients.

The authors of these studies found that patients tolerated the lower blood pressure goal well. To reach the lower goal, some study patients had to take multiple blood pressure medications. These researchers looked at medication side effects in these patients and found that most said they felt well and were satisfied with their care.

Although the results of the lower blood pressure goal were generally positive, these researchers noted that the approach may not be right for everyone who has high blood pressure.

"In order for patients to have the future health benefits of intensive blood pressure control while maintaining their current health-related quality of life, clinicians and patients should work together to adjust medications as needed while keeping an eye on symptoms," said study author Dr. Dan Berlowitz, of Boston University, in a press release.

Ask your health care provider what blood pressure goal is best for your heart health.

These studies were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The National Institutes of Health and similar health organizations funded these studies. Information on potential conflicts of interest was not available at the time of publication.

Review Date: 
August 26, 2017