Friday, May 22, 2009

heartwire: Give blood pressure drugs to all



London, UK - Blood-pressure-lowering drugs should be offered to everyone, regardless of their blood-pressure level, as a safeguard against coronary heart disease and stroke, researchers who conducted a meta-analysis of 147 randomized trials (comprising 958 000 people) conclude in the May 19, 2009 issue of British Medical Journal.
"Guidelines on the use of blood-pressure-lowering drugs can be simplified so that drugs are offered to people with all levels of blood pressure," write Drs Malcolm R Law and Nicholas Wald (Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Barts and the London School of Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, UK). "Our results indicate the importance of lowering blood pressure in everyone over a certain age, rather than measuring it in everyone and treating it in some."
"Whatever your blood pressure, you benefit from lowering it further," Law told heartwire. "Everyone benefits from taking blood-pressure-lowering drugs. There is no one who does not benefit because their blood pressure is so-called normal."
Six years ago, Law and Wald advocated the use of a polypill—containing a statin, three blood-pressure-lowering drugs (each at half the standard dose), folic acid, and aspirin—which they maintained could prevent heart attacks and stroke if taken by everyone 55 years and older and by everyone with existing cardiovascular disease.

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