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article imageResearch: Blood pressure meds should be given to all at risk

By Tim Sandle     Dec 24, 2015 in Health
London - New research suggests medics should administer blood pressure drugs to all patients at high risk of heart disease. This applies even to those who have "normal" blood pressure.
The new study counters existing medical advice in the U.K., which requires blood pressure pills to only be prescribed if blood pressure stands above a certain threshold (at or above 140 mmHg.)
The new recommendation, BBC Health reports, is based on a review of 100 large-scale trials, embracing over 600,000 people. Those with particular "at risk" lifestyle factors — smokers with high cholesterol levels and people over 65's with diabetes — were found to potentially benefit the most from taking blood pressure lowering pills. The reason for this is based on people standing a better chance, should their health decline, from a lower blood pressure baseline.
The new research and recommendations are published in the medical journal The Lancet. The research paper is titled "Effects of intensive blood pressure lowering on
cardiovascular and renal outcomes: updated systematic review and meta-analysis."
In related news, a new tiny device, no bigger than a paper clip and called a coupler, when inserted in the groin, shows promise results in lowering blood pressure. The device has also been featured in The Lancet ("Central arteriovenous anastomosis for the treatment of patients with uncontrolled hypertension (the ROX CONTROL HTN study): a randomised controlled trial.")
Speaking with the BBC, lead scientist Dr Melvin Lobo, from Queen Mary University of London, and director of Barts blood pressure clinic said: "We need more research to explore the long-term effects of the coupler, better understand its safety and understand more about how it works within the body. We must find better means of treating high blood pressure as drugs do not work for everyone and the coupler is a big step forward in our search for alternative treatment."
More about Blood pressure, Heart, Heart attack
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