Rewriting the rules on blood pressure

NC_bloodpressure1109_700x394(NBC News) When it comes to treating high blood pressure heart doctors keep one question in mind: How low can you get, how low is too low?

Dr. Jackson Wright of U.H. Case Medical Center is one of the main investigators in a clinical trial that appears to give some answers.

More than 9,000 people with hypertension and one other heart disease risk factor were assigned to target either the usual 140 blood pressure reading, or much lower, down to at least 120.

Just three years into the planned five year study the benefits of more intensive treatment were clear: Fewer heart problems and a reduction in heart-related deaths.

“Regardless of whether the patients had cardiovascular disease or not, had kidney disease or not, were black or white, male or female or above or below age 75 — all appeared to benefit similarly,” Dr. Wright explains.

Some outside experts call the results a potential game changer.

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