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Blood Pressure Drugs May Enhance The Risk Of Heart Attacks In Diabetics

Update Date: Feb 29, 2016 12:03 PM EST

Surprisingly, blood pressure medications may actually increase heart attack risk for diabetics, says a new study.

Swedish researchers reported that a number of diabetics with systolic blood pressure that was less than 140 before going through treatment with anti-hypertensive drugs exposed themselves to heart attack, according to Medical Daily.

"In practice, it is important to remember that undertreatment of high blood pressure is a bigger problem than overtreatment," Mattias Brunström, a doctoral student at Umeå University, said in a news release. "Many treatment guidelines, both Swedish and international, will be redrawn in the next few years. It has been discussed to recommend even lower blood pressure levels for people with diabetes -- maybe as low as 130. We are hoping that our study, which shows potential risks of such aggressive blood pressure lowering treatment, will come to influence these guidelines."

The scientists undertook about 50 trials with 70,000 participants, many of whom had type 2 diabetes. Experts tried to determine the effects of differing levels of blood pressure treatment.

For cases that showed systolic pressure above 150, the aggressive blood pressure treatment helped to bring down mortality risk. But for those with systolic pressure under 140, there was a greater risk of heart attack, which was a cardiovascular event that led to death, according to UPI.

"Our study shows that intensive blood pressure lowering treatment using anti-hypertensive drugs may be harmful to people with diabetes and a systolic blood pressure less than 140 mm Hg," Brunström said. "At the same time, it is important to remember that blood pressure lowering treatment is crucial for the majority of people with diabetes whose blood pressure measures above 140."

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