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Treating blood pressure early is beneficial

03/21/2006 - News

Treating blood pressure early is beneficial

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD

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Treating blood pressure early is beneficial

Reported by Susan Aldridge, PhD, medical journalist

A clinical trial shows that treating people for pre-hypertension keeps their blood pressure under control for longer.
Pre-hypertension is the name given to the condition in which people have blood pressure that is between 130 and 139 (top figure) and 80 and 89 (bottom figure). It is not high enough to warrant treatment, but is somewhat higher than optimal. A team at the University of Michigan has been looking at whether there is some benefit to treating pre-hypertension.

They had a group of 772 people with pre-hypertension take either the blood pressure-lowering drug candesartan or placebo for two years. Then, for the next two years, all of them took placebo. By the end of the study, the blood pressure in the active drug group was lower than that of those in the placebo group. The risk of developing hypertension was reduced by 15.6 per cent, on average, among those taking candesartan.

The researchers would now like to proceed to further and larger studies to see if the treatment effect can be increased. They believe that early treatment can ward off some of the changes in the blood vessels that help hypertension to develop. If more people can avoid high blood pressure, than it could cut the toll from heart attack and stroke.

Source
American College of Cardiology meeting 14th March 2006

Created on: 03/21/2006
Reviewed on: 03/21/2006

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