9 in 10 people with high blood pressure may need stronger treatment, study finds

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High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a common health issue affecting millions of people worldwide. It’s a condition where the force of blood against the walls of the arteries is consistently too high.

While it might not sound alarming, hypertension is a significant risk factor for severe health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, and premature death.

In Sweden alone, more than a quarter of all adults grapple with hypertension, making it a widespread concern.

Understanding the Research

A group of researchers at the University of Gothenburg embarked on a series of studies to uncover crucial insights into hypertension and its associated risks.

Their findings suggest that many individuals with high blood pressure might need more treatment to lower their risk of heart attacks, strokes, and early death.

Reducing the Risk of Heart Attacks and Strokes

In one study, the research team focused on older patients with hypertension who had not experienced previous heart attacks or strokes.

They sought to understand how different levels of systolic blood pressure (SBP) were linked to the risk of heart attacks or strokes.

Systolic blood pressure measures the force of blood against artery walls when the heart beats.

The study revealed that patients with SBP levels below 130 mmHg had a 40% lower risk of heart attacks or strokes compared to those with SBP levels in the range of 130-139 mmHg.

This finding underscores the importance of maintaining blood pressure within a healthy range to reduce the risk of these life-threatening events.

Uncovering the Impact on Hemorrhagic Stroke

Another study explored the risk of hemorrhagic stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation who were taking blood-thinning medications.

Atrial fibrillation is a condition where the heart’s rhythm becomes irregular, increasing the risk of blood clots and stroke.

The research found that patients with SBP levels between 140-179 mmHg faced twice the risk of hemorrhagic stroke compared to those with SBP levels in the 130-139 mmHg range.

This emphasizes that maintaining a lower systolic blood pressure is not only crucial for preventing heart attacks and ischemic strokes but also for reducing the risk of hemorrhagic strokes.

A Comprehensive Look at Hypertension Management

In a third study involving a vast dataset of 259,753 patients, the researchers made an alarming discovery.

They found that a staggering nine out of ten patients with hypertension had either poorly controlled blood pressure, high blood lipids (cholesterol), or were smokers. These factors greatly elevate the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and premature death.

The Implications for Better Health

The implications of these studies are clear: many people in Sweden, and likely around the world, are at risk of heart attacks, strokes, and early death due to insufficiently treated hypertension.

The research team believes that most individuals with hypertension can significantly reduce their risk of these life-threatening conditions by taking measures to lower their blood pressure and cholesterol levels through medication or lifestyle changes.

Prioritizing Hypertension Treatment

In conclusion, it is essential to prioritize proper treatment and management of hypertension to safeguard against dangerous illnesses and premature death.

Whether through medication, dietary adjustments, exercise, or quitting smoking, there are multiple avenues for individuals to take control of their blood pressure and overall health.

With proactive efforts, we can work towards a future where hypertension no longer poses such a significant threat to our well-being.

If you care about high blood pressure, please read studies about the ideal blood pressure for older people, and widely-used blood pressure drugs linked to bowel diseases.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about unhealthy habits that may increase high blood pressure risk, and results showing plant-based protein foods may help reverse diabetes.

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