Blood pressure or BP medicines lower the blood pressure in hypertensive patients and save them from various cardiac conditions. But a new study confirms these same benefits even for people who aren’t hypertensive and experience normal blood pressure. The complete results are now published in the journal The Lancet.
This is probably the first time that the same beneficial effects are reported in people irrespective of their blood pressure levels history. It means that BP medicines work more or less the same way for people with a heart attack in the past, stroke, or heart failure as well as those who have never experienced any cardiovascular problem in their lives.
Conferring the study authors, these results share considerable implications because the international clinical guidelines suggest a treatment to lower blood pressure to people having a blood pressure over 140/90 mmHg. It adds up to the debate on the blood pressure treatment plans. Based on the latest evidence it is necessary to know that BP medicines aren’t only helpful for people with existing cardiovascular disease history. Instead, these BP medicines should be taken as an effective treatment plan to ‘prevent’ heart attack, failure, and stroke in people who are on verge of developing these issues, not necessarily diagnosed beforehand. Hence, the clinical guidelines should be modified accordingly.
Kazem Rahimi the lead author of this study and a professor at Oxford further adds that these findings don’t suggest that every patient should be prescribed these medicines to prevent cardiovascular events. This decision to suggest BP medicines is based on the various risk factors that a patient may be feeling, it also includes the risk of side effects and the patient’s decision of using these medicines.
All of these issues heart failure, strokes, and hypertension are among the top causes of deaths worldwide. It is a well-known fact that blood pressure-lowering medicines save people who have experienced a heart attack or a stroke in the past and are at a high risk of another one. However, the use of these bp medicines among people with mildly high blood pressure or normal blood pressure range is highly debatable.
For now, the studies on blood pressure-lowering medicines suggest that they are equally beneficial for everyone, with or without a previous stroke or attack. But the average blood pressure levels after which the patient has prescribed these medicines (at least 140/90 mmHg or more) have various conflicts involved. That is the biggest reason why blood pressure treatment is contradictory in various parts of the world.
For this current study, the research team used data obtained from a total of 344,716 adults, with an average age of 65 years. This data was taken from 48 different randomized trials which is also a gold standard to check the efficacy of a treatment. These individuals were divided into two groups, one with a previous history of cardiovascular events (157,728 individuals) and the second without cardiovascular issues (186,988 individuals) in the past. After a follow-up for more than four years long time, nearly 42,324 individuals confirmed having a cardiovascular event or death by a cardiovascular event. The benefits of the blood pressure-lowering treatment didn’t show any difference in both these groups.
Based on these results, the team concluded that blood pressure or bp medicines shouldn’t be considered for cardiovascular patients only, but for anyone who is at high risk of a cardiovascular event. The study also shares some limitations for example it didn’t determine the effects of these medicines on other body functions or side effects of this treatment and more studies are required to study the safety levels of bp medicines in non-cardiovascular patients.