Taking preventative measures in cases of high risk for cardiovascular disease could be the new way to reduce the incidence of this lethal set of diseases.
A healthy blood pressure reading is considered to fall between 120/80 and 140/90, systolic over diastolic (pressure during heart beats over pressure at rest). Although blood pressure values 120/80 and under normally indicate healthy individuals, a new clinical trial indicates treating these healthy individuals preemptively with drugs to lower blood pressure could decrease their risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Conducted by researchers from the University of Oxford, the massive study followed more than 600,000 participants for more than 20 years with data from 123 trials. Observations of healthy individuals benefiting from receiving blood pressure-lowering drugs before they show signs of cardiovascular problems have prompted these researchers to pursue revising current treatment procedures.
"Our findings clearly show that treating blood pressure to a lower level than currently recommended could greatly reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease," said study lead author Kazem Rahimi from the University of Oxford.
The preventative measures studied in these trials are specifically geared toward individuals with a high risk of developing cardiovascular problems at some point in their lives. High risk usually involves a family history or personal history of cardiovascular disease.