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Changing blood pressure lowering guidelines could save millions of lives say experts

Blood pressure-lowering drugs should be offered to all individuals at high risk of having a heart attack or stroke regardless of their blood pressure at the start of treatment, according to the largest meta-analysis conducted to date involving over 600,000 people, published in The Lancet.

The authors call for an urgent revision of current blood pressure-lowering guidelines, including those of NICE and the European Society of Hypertension, that have recently relaxed blood pressure targets from 130/85 mmHg to 140/90 mmHg, and for the elderly to even higher targets of 150/90 mmHg. They also recommend a shift from rigid blood pressure targets to individualised risk-based targets, even when blood pressure is below 130 mmHg before treatment.

The study, which included researchers from NDPH, can be accessed here.