Lower BP targets are better

Lower systolic blood pressure targets may be in the offing according to a report from the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR).

In its Signal bulletin it discusses a meta-analysis of 17 hypertension trials showing fewer heart attacks and strokes at target systolic blood pressures of 120mmHg than levels up to 160mmHg. Side-effects, including hypotension, were greater at lower blood pressures leading the authors to conclude that aiming for systolic pressures below 130 mmHg provided the optimal balance between efficacy and tolerability.

Most guidelines, including those from NICE, recommend a target of 140mmHg.

Dr Tarek Antonios, Senior Lecturer and Consultant Physician in Cardiovascular and General Medicine, St George’s University of London, says: ‘Finding the perfect balance between maximising benefit of treatment and limiting side-effects from drugs is very important. If the results of this study are adopted in revised hypertension guidelines, many individuals with hypertension may benefit.’




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