People who suffer from high blood pressure should be attempting to lower their blood pressure well below current benchmarks, according to a new study.
The study by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute found that patients who reached a systolic blood pressure below 120 saw their risk of heart attacks and strokes lowered by a third, while their risk of death was lowered by about one-fourth. Currently people with high blood pressure typically take drugs to lower their systolic blood pressure to 140, or 150 for people over 60.
The institute announced the results Friday, even though the study wasn’t scheduled to be published until 2017, because the data is of such importance to public health.
Blood pressure experts expect guidelines to be changed due to the study, leading people to take medication that will push their blood pressure even lower. Some worry that increased use of blood pressure medicine could cause additional worrisome side effects.