Study finds benefits from lowering blood pressure, but questions remain | Science News

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Study finds benefits from lowering blood pressure, but questions remain

Full data needed to assess trial’s findings, experts say

By
1:00pm, September 18, 2015
measuring blood pressure

MORE MEDS  Aggressively using medication to lower patients’ systolic blood pressure to 120 could prevent heart attacks and strokes, but some experts have questions.

A new study proclaims some dramatic benefits of using medication to lower blood pressure, but some scientists are advising caution.

Aggressive treatment of high blood pressure comes with risks, and the study, a large clinical trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, has not yet been peer-reviewed or published.

Until then, changes to blood pressure guidelines and patient treatment plans should wait, says Sripal Bangalore, a cardiologist at New York University Langone Medical Center.

“The results look good, there’s no doubt about it,” he says. “But we need more details. We need to look at the data.”

Some experts caution that the study’s results may not be as impressive as they initially seem, and that NIH didn’t release enough data to put the findings in context. Plus, a low blood pressure treatment plan might not be right for every patient.

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