Researchers from the University of Gothenburg have conducted several studies that suggest many people with high blood pressure may need more treatment to avoid the risk of heart attack, stroke, and premature death.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is the leading treatable cause of illness and death worldwide.
In Sweden, more than a quarter of all adults have hypertension, which increases the risk of several dangerous illnesses, including myocardial infarction (heart attack) and stroke.
In one study, the team examined the association between various blood pressure levels and the risk of heart attacks or strokes in older patients with hypertension but without a history of heart attacks or strokes.
The study showed that patients with systolic blood pressure (SBP) below 130 mmHg had a 40% lower risk of heart attack or stroke compared with those in the systolic blood pressure range of 130-139.
This finding was repeated in another study, which examined the risk of hemorrhagic stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation who were receiving treatment with blood-thinning drugs.
The study found that patients with a systolic blood pressure range of 140-179 mmHg had a twice as high risk of hemorrhagic stroke compared to patients with a systolic blood pressure of 130-139 mmHg.
In a third study, which included data on 259,753 patients, the team found that nine out of ten patients had either insufficient blood pressure control or high blood lipids (cholesterol) or were smokers.
The researchers concluded that a high number of people in Sweden suffer from heart attack, stroke, or premature death due to insufficiently treated hypertension.
The team believes that most patients with hypertension could reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke by lowering their blood pressure and blood lipids with more drugs or through lifestyle changes.
Therefore, it is essential to prioritize proper treatment and management of hypertension to prevent the risk of dangerous illnesses and premature death.
The study was conducted by Johan-Emil Bager et al and published in Brain and Behavior and others.
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