13-Feb-15 9:30 AM  CST

Lowering Your Blood Pressure may have Further Benefits

For years we’ve known that reducing your blood pressure can have historic benefits to your health, but researchers may have found one more reason to work on lowering your blood pressure. New information found from 40 trials conducted on more than 100,000 individuals with type 2 diabetes has found that lowering your blood pressure may help reduce the risk of complications associated with type 2 diabetes.

Diabetics are at a much higher risk of being diagnosed with hypertension than those who have no underlying disease states. Individuals that have been diagnosed with diabetes are already at a greater risk for circulatory problems, particularly atherosclerosis, damaging of the arteries of the heart. Circulatory issues can lead to high blood pressure and the potential for even greater damage to the heart and its surrounding arteries.

The common goal for sustainable blood pressure for diabetics is typically 140 millimeters of mercury systolic or the top number. However, a recent article in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) states that lowering that number by 10 points to 130 millimeters for mercury systolic can have tremendous affects. At 130 millimeters of mercury a diabetic patient can lower their risk of death by 13%, heart disease by 12 %, and the risk of stroke drops by an astounding 26%. Further more there is evidence to suggest that retinopathy, a common type of blindness often associated with diabetes, drops by 13% and kidney disease, also a common diagnosis made in those who are diabetic, drops by 17%.

Of course the closer a patient can get to a normal blood pressure, 120/80, the less risk the patient will have of being diagnosed with additional health problems, such as heart disease or stroke. It was also suggested that patients that maintain a blood pressure of 135 millimeters of mercury systolic and are known to have diabetes might benefit from the addition of an antihypertensive as part of their daily treatment regimen. Patients that fall within this category should discuss these options with their physician in order to receive the best available treatment options for their situation.

 

 

Resources:

Bakalar, N. (2015) “ Reducing Blood Pressure Lowers Risk of Diabetes Complications”, The New York Times, http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/02/11/reducing-blood-pressure-lowers-risk-of-diabetes-complications/?ref=health&_r=0, retrieved 12.February, 2015

WebMD, (2015) “Diabetes and High Blood Pressure”, http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/guide/high-blood-pressure?page=2, retrieved 12.February, 2015

 


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Source: Sandy Andrews  

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