Action urged for blood pressure pill20th May 2009
A leading epidemiology expert has said everyone aged 55 and over should be taking drugs to lower their blood pressure.
Writing in the British Medical Journal, Professor Malcolm Law said that the drugs cut the risk of heart attack and stroke even for those with normal blood pressure.
His conclusions are based on a review of 147 studies involving 464,000 people.
The studies looked at the effect on systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements. The lowered risk estimates were based on lowering systolic blood pressure by 10mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure by 5mm Hg.
Professor Law from the Wolfson Institute at Barts and The London School of Medicine said: "Beyond a certain age, we're saying everyone would benefit from taking drugs that lower blood pressure.”
He compared universal use of blood pressure drugs to the idea of vaccinating the entire population in the event of a flu pandemic and that people of a certain age all have high blood pressure and would benefit from lowering it.
Professor Law’s call received backing from Richard McManus from the University of Birmingham and Jonathan Mant from the University of Cambridge.
However, Joanne Murphy of the Stroke Association said that while blood pressure medication is one of the safest and most studied medications, they do have side-effects.
Mike Rich of the Blood Pressure Association said: "Prevention is better than cure, but there are other proven ways to prevent high blood pressure such as healthy eating and regular exercise, which have other health benefits too.”
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Thursday 21st May 2009 @ 10:44
I suppose that by the drugs being prescribed to everyone it would reduce the shock of diagnosis of high blood pressure and the medications that follow.
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Title: Action urged for blood pressure pill
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 11433
Date Added: 20th May 2009