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Combination of Treatment for Blood Pressure is Best

July 26th 2005

Blood pressure combination of drugs is best JAMA study

Combination of drugs is best
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Most Americans over the age of 80 have high blood pressure and many do not get adequate treatment for it according to the latest research.  High blood pressure has been called the silent killer because there are few symptoms and the result could be heart attack or stroke. 

Blood pressure is considered high if the systolic (top number) number exceeds 140mm Hg.  It is best to keep the diastolic pressure below 90.  Normal blood pressure is considered 120 / 80 according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institutes (NHLBI) guidelines.   

In the study 74 percent of participants over the age of 80 had high blood pressure.  Between the ages 60 and 79 about 63 percent had high blood pressure.  Of these two older groups only about two thirds got adequate treatment.

A combination of drugs may be the best way to treat high blood pressure.  Of those treated for high blood pressure in the study, 60% of the participants were only using one single medication.  Studies have shown that a combination of medications is best. 


The study is in the July 27th issue of JAMA and was conducted at the Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine.  Dr. Lloyd-Jones and his colleagues analyzed the data from the 1990ís Framingham Heart Study.  The Framingham Heart Study began in 1948 when researchers began tracking participants and their offspring. 

Only about one quarter of the women with hypertension (high blood pressure) were adequately treated.  The researchers looked at 14,458 medical examinations taken from 5,296 participants from January 1st 1990 through December 31st 1999. 

The participants were followed for up to six years to evaluate the cardiovascular event risk.  Cardiovascular events occurred in 9.5% of those with normal blood pressure, 19.8% of those with pre-hypertension (120-139 / 80-89), 20.3% of those with stage 1 hypertension (140-159 / 90-99), and 24.7% of those with stage 2 or treated hypertension (160 or higher / 100 or higher).

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By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:40 PM