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Tight Blood Pressure Control Doesn't Help All Diabetics: Study
Date:7/6/2010

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- Lower may not be better when it concerns blood pressure levels in type 2 diabetics who also have heart disease.

New research finds that patients with diabetes and coronary artery disease did not have fewer strokes or heart attacks, and actually were more likely to die when their blood pressure was maintained under 130 mm Hg, compared to patients with "usual blood pressure control," putting them in the 130 to 140 range.

In healthy adults, blood pressure levels of 120/80 are recommended.

"We found that after a mean follow-up of just under three years in patients with diabetes and coronary artery disease, lowering systolic blood pressure [the top number] to less than 130 . . . did not have any benefit compared to lowering blood pressure to between 130 and 140," said Rhonda Cooper-DeHoff, lead author of the study published in the July 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

These findings, along with similar data recently released from the large ACCORD study, would suggest that "lowering blood pressure intensively does not provide any benefit over and above usual blood pressure reduction," said Cooper-DeHoff, who is associate professor of pharmacotherapy and translational research and division of cardiovascular medicine at the Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville.

Time would be better spent focusing on other modifiable heart disease risk factors, such as cholesterol, she advised.

Various organizations, including the American Diabetes Association, currently recommend that diabetics keep their blood pressure under 130/80 mm Hg, but it's been less clear what to recommend for patients with type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease.

To this end, the researchers involved in the new study analyzed data on 6,400 type 2 diabetics aged 50 or over who also had coron
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