With as many as 70 million Americans suffering with complications from high blood pressure – including a full 67% of men and 79% of women age 75 and older – the latest findings from a new study will have significant impacts.
The study, released a full year earlier than intended because of its potential for saving lives, is changing the way doctors look at blood pressure readings.
It’s long been accepted that the optimum systolic reading (the first or higher number in your blood pressure reading) is lower than 140 in most adults, and lower than 130 in those with diabetes or kidney disease. However, thanks to results found in the recent SPRINT clinical trial, the new targeted number is 120 or less, particularly in those age 50 and older who are at an increased risk of heart disease or with kidney disease.
The impact is remarkable, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke by nearly a third, and reducing the risk of death by almost a fourth. According to Director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Pressure Institute, Gary H. Gibbons, M.D., “This study provides potentially lifesaving information that will be useful to healthcare providers as they consider the best treatment options for some of their patients, particularly those over the age of 50.”
Try these tips to lower your blood pressure, courtesy of the Mayo Clinic, and ask your doctor if targeting a lower blood pressure score is right for you.
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