In a nutshell
This study looked at the use of blood pressure (BP)-lowering medications in patients with normal to high blood pressure and its effect in preventing major cardiovascular events (MACE). It found that lowering BP led to a reduction in the risk of heart attack, stroke, or death in all patients, regardless of their pre-treatment BP level.
High BP is a well-known risk factor for developing heart disease. It can increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes, or death. These are called major cardiovascular events (MACE). Reducing BP through medication can decrease the risk of MACE in patients with existing heart disease. However, it is not clear if patients with normal or slightly elevated BP without known heart disease can also benefit from BP-lowering medications.
Methods & findings
This study reviewed the results of 48 previous studies of BP treatment. Overall, a total of 344,716 patients were included. Patients' BP was measured before treatment and after an average of 4.15 years of follow-up.
157,728 patients had previously known heart disease. A reduction of systolic BP by 5 mmHg reduced the risk of heart attack, stroke, or death in all patients by 9% in participants without previous heart disease and by 11% in those with heart disease. This was true even for patients whose BP was in the normal range before treatment.
The bottom line
This study showed that reducing systolic blood pressure by 5 mmHg reduces the risk of MACE. This suggests that patients can benefit from BP treatment even when they do not suffer from high BP.
The fine print
More studies are needed to see if these results can be applied to all patients groups.
Published By :
Lancet (London, England)
May 01, 2021