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Posted by on Sep 29, 2018 in Hypertension | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study investigated the risk of cardiovascular events in patients taking medication for hypertension.

They found that the rate of cardiovascular events was higher in patients that are taking recommended medication.

Some background

Managing hypertension (high blood pressure) is important to prevent complications. Stroke and heart attack are some of the cardiovascular disease (CVD) events that can occur if hypertension is not treated. Treatment varies depending on a number of factors. Some patients will be told by their doctor to exercise more and eat a healthier diet. Other patients may need to take medication to reduce blood pressure (BP). These drugs are called anti-hypertensives.

The American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association (AHA) review the treatment of hypertension. All patients with BP higher than 140/90 mmHg should be prescribed anti-hypertensives. Patients with BP 130-139/80-89 mmHg should adjust their lifestyle. Anti-hypertensives should only be prescribed if these patients have an increased risk of CVD events. The rate of CVD risk in patients with hypertension is not clear. 

Methods & findings

This study included 29,218 patients with hypertension. 48% of patients were taking anti-hypertensive drugs. The authors analyzed BP readings at the beginning and end of the trial (maximum 4 years). Patients were contacted every 6 months and asked a number of questions about their treatment and daily life. The authors of this study analyzed information on anti-hypertensive treatment and CVD events. Patients that were recommended to take anti-hypertensives were compared to patients that were not. 

Patients that were recommended to take anti-hypertensives with a BP of 130-139/80-89 mmHg had a 6-fold higher risk of CVD events. CVD and death risks were greater in patients that were recommended to intensify their anti-hypertensive medications. 

The bottom line

This study concluded that the rate of cardiovascular events was higher in patients that are taking recommended medication.

The fine print

Patients in this study were under the age of 45. The results may not extend to older people with hypertension. 

What’s next?

If you have any concerns regarding BP management please consult with your physician.

Published By :

Journal of the American College of Cardiology

Date :

Sep 11, 2018

Original Title :

2017 ACC/AHA Blood Pressure Treatment Guideline Recommendations and Cardiovascular Risk.

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