Intensive blood pressure treatment may save lives, NIH study says

For a long time, health experts have been struggling to come to a conclusion regarding the ideal goal for treating patients suffering from hypertension, a condition marked by high blood pressure levels. They have been wondering whether it is right to be aggressive when treating the condition, or whether a mild approach would produce better results. Now, a new study is suggesting that aggressive treatment is the better option of the two.

According to the findings of the study, aggressive treatments for high blood pressure help in reducing the chances of fatality by as much as 25%. That’s not all; they might also reduce the rate of high blood pressure-related deaths and cardiovascular diseases in people above the age of 50 years.

Having blood pressure below 120 mm Hg or milligrams of mercury lowers one’s chances of developing acute coronary disorders, stroke, heart attack, and heart failure by 30% more than what having blood pressure below 140 mm Hg would have done. In addition, the findings of the study showed that fatality risk decreased by 25% in individuals who succeeded in dropping their blood pressure below 120 mm Hg.

The clinical trial revealing all these facts is called SPRINT or Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial, a trial conducted by the National Institutes of Health. For those who don’t know: the National Institutes of Health keeps on carrying out such studies to come up with potentially life-saving facts and figures that can assist in improving the overall health of Americans.

Doctors, however, have not yet recommended this practice to patients with hypertension, which is found by using blood pressure cuffs. This is because the results of this recently conducted trial haven’t been published yet, and the study is still in its preliminary stage. At present, the AHA or the American Heart Association asks patients to keep their blood pressure below 140 mm Hg.

Mark A. Creager, the president of the AHA, said that for a long time, the association has been expressing its concern regarding putting into practice a higher target blood pressure. This is because experts representing the AHA feel that the reduction in rates of cardiovascular disease observed during the past few decades might get reversed if the target blood pressure is increased. Creager added that findings of the recent study have actually confirmed that keeping the target blood pressure lower is always the better option.

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James Oliver

James is a tech-savvy journalist who specializes in consumer electronics. He holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and has a knack for dissecting gadgets to their core. Whether it's smartphones, wearables, or smart home devices, James has got it covered. In his free time, he enjoys mountain biking.