Everyone knows that having high blood pressure is not good! What people don’t know is the surprisingly good effects lowering your blood pressure can do.
Having high blood pressure can increase your risk of having a stroke or heart attack so understandably by lowering your blood pressure you are also lowering your risk of these cardiovascular events.
A study that was recently conducted in the US on patients with diabetes questioned the benefits of intensive blood pressure lowering. Although the study cast doubt over the benefits, the analysis of all trials shows benefits in a range of patients with high blood pressure, not just those with diabetes.
“A key finding was the consistency of findings across major patient groups, those with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, renal disease and also those with just hypertension,” explains co-author Professor Jicheng Lv, from Peking University First Hospital, Beijing, China.
Concentrated management of blood pressure significantly reduced the risk of heart attacks in patients by 14% and strokes by almost 25%. Following on from these findings the authors believe that a review of clinical guidelines for patients is necessary.
“This is a really important area – cardiovascular deaths are our leading killer, most occur in high risk people who have already had a ‘warning sign’ and most occur among people with blood pressure levels which have, until now, widely been regarded as acceptable,” adds Professor Lv.
Following the review of the trials, the results showed that intensive blood-pressure lowering achieved in the trials significantly reduced major cardiovascular events, stroke, myocardial infarction (MI), albuminuria, and retinopathy progression. Intensive blood-pressure lowering showed to have no impact on heart failure, cardiovascular death, total mortality, or end-stage kidney disease when compared to less intensive treatments.
Intensive blood-pressure lowering was seen to have the greatest impact in the trials in which all patients had vascular disease, renal disease, or diabetes at baseline.
Adverse-event reporting was inconsistent across the trials. There were five trials that reported severe hypotension outcomes, the risk was nearly tripled with the intensive-treatment regimen. Increased dizziness also resulted from the more intensive blood-pressure control, in five trials out of 9778 participants there were 1125 events.
The benefits of health screening can be felt by both the employer and the employee alike. Health screening is an effective way of increasing employee morale, and leads to reduced sickness and levels of absenteeism.
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