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07/16/2009 - News

Intensive Blood Pressure Lowering Provides No Benefit

By: June Chen, MD

The standard target for blood pressure in patients with hypertension is 140/90 mm Hg. In recent years, guidelines issues by hypertension experts have trended toward lower blood pressure targets based on the assumption that intensive lower of blood pressure will reduce heart attack and stroke.

However, as published online July 8, 2009 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, lowering blood pressure below 140/90 mm HG provides no benefit in reducing morbidity or mortality.

Investigators from the University of Costa Rica reviewed seven trials involving more than 22,000 participants comparing lower or standard diastolic blood pressure (the lower blood pressure number) targets. They found no evidence that reaching a target diastolic blood pressure below 90 mm HG provided additional clinical benefit. Specifically, they were not able to find any data supporting reductions in stroke, heart attack, heart failure, or kidney failure due to more intensive diastolic blood pressure lowering.

Systematic reviews are underway to assess the effects of intensive blood pressure lowering in specific groups of patients, such as those with diabetes and chronic kidney disease, who are at higher risk..



Arguedas JA, Perez MI, Wright JM. Treatment blood pressure targets for hypertension. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD004349.

Created on: 07/13/2009
Reviewed on: 07/16/2009

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