Why long-term management of high blood pressure is very important

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High blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, two leading causes of death for Americans.

High blood pressure is also very common. Tens of millions of adults in the United States have high blood pressure, and many do not have it under control.

Previous research has shown that intensive blood pressure management reduced cardiovascular disease and lowered the risk of death.

In a study from Wake Forest University, scientists found that the benefits for heart mortality went away after approximately two years when protocols for blood pressure management were no longer being followed.

This suggests that if you have high blood pressure, controlling it is a lifelong commitment.

The previous study confirmed that in adults 50 years and older with high blood pressure, targeting a systolic blood pressure of fewer than 120 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) reduced rates of cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and heart failure, as well as stroke, by 25%.

The target also reduced the risk of death by 27%—as compared to a target systolic pressure of 140 mm Hg.

In the latest study, the team linked participants to the National Death Index from 2016 to 2020, which added 4.5 years of follow-up for mortality after the conclusion of the trial.

They also examined the electronic health records of trial participants for outpatient measurements of blood pressure.

In addition to a diminishing benefit of intensive treatment on heart mortality, the team saw a gradual increase in blood pressure for participants in the intensive treatment group, such that four or five years after the trial, there no longer appeared to be a difference in systolic blood pressure between the groups.

The team says the message here is clear. Sustained blood pressure control is necessary to continue to reduce the burden of fatal cardiovascular events.

If you care about blood pressure, please read studies that cherry concentrate could lower blood pressure as much as drugs, and 3 grams of omega-3s a day keep high blood pressure at bay.

For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies that green tea could strongly reduce blood pressure, and results showing marijuana may strongly increase death risk in high blood pressure

The study was conducted by Nicholas Pajewski et al and published in JAMA Cardiology.

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