Doctors Urged to Rethink Blood Pressure Drug Prescription
According to the recent study, the doctors have been urged to move away from the current guidelines that suggests that the pills can only be prescribed if the blood pressure is above certain level. However, the experts suggest that the lifestyle factors also play a crucial role in lowering the blood pressure. The study has been published in Lancet. High blood pressure has often been linked to the increased risk of heart disease and stroke. As per the current guidelines issued by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in England, patients ae advised to take medication only when their blood pressure exceeds 140 mmHg. However, until they reach this point, even the ones exposed to high risk are only monitored but no pills are administered. But the experts across the world are calling doctors to think about the individual's risk rather than being inflexible about the blood pressure thresholds, said BBC News.
Experts examined the results of a trials that involved 600,000 people between 1966 and 2015. They revealed that the patients facing a high risk, including high cholesterol level smokers and people aged above 65 years and suffering from diabetes, would benefit from the pills that can reduce their risk of a heart attack and strokes. Additionally, the report suggests that once they receive the treatment, the blood pressure levels would be lowered further than the current targets. The study also shows evidence that the patients will gain from lowering their blood pressure, regardless of baseline levels, either through drugs or lifestyle changes, as per BBC News. The authors, however, do not suggest that everyone should be given pills and cautions that side effects of the medication should be informed to the patient.
Prof Liam Smeeth, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, approved that these findings were indeed important, especially for those who have a high risk. But he warned: "One important caveat is that not everyone will be able to tolerate having their blood pressure reduced to low levels, and there is a need to balance possible drug side effects and likely benefits."