New breakthrough in blood pressure research: the lower the better!

According to new study of heart disease patients finds that "normal" blood pressure may not be low enough. By reducing their pressure well below the levels suggested by national guidelines, patients had fewer heart attacks, strokes, cardiac arrests, hospitalizations for chest pain, procedures to open blocked coronary arteries and deaths.

In addition, lower blood pressure appeared to slow or stop the growth of the fatty deposits called plaque in the coronary arteries, compared with patients taking a placebo, whose plaque growth continued over the two-year study.

The international study, led by Dr. Steven Nissen of the Cleveland Clinic, is being published today in The Journal of the American Medical Association. It found that for every 16 &to=' target=_blank>heart disease patients with normal blood pressure given drugs to lower it, one adverse event could be prevented, informs Seattle Post Intelligencer.

According to Forbes, more study is needed before &to=' target=_blank>cardiologists begin prescribing blood pressure medications to all patients with coronary artery disease, said Dr. Carl J. Pepine, a professor of medicine at the University of Florida College of Medicine, who wrote an accompanying editorial.

One reason is that doctors have to be concerned not only about systolic blood pressure -- the higher figure in 129 over 78 -- but also about diastolic pressure, the lower number, he said. Too-low diastolic pressure could produce adverse effects that would outweigh the benefits of systolic pressure reduction, Pepine said.

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Author`s name Editorial Team