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U-M study: 'Smarter' blood pressure guidelines could prevent many more heart attacks and strokes
Date:11/4/2013

hat people who have mildly high blood pressure but high cardiovascular risk receive a lot of benefit from treatment, but those with low overall cardiovascular risk do not."

Current treatment guidelines emphasize specific blood pressure goals, with the majority of treatment driven specifically towards pushing blood pressure below 140/80 mmHg. However, authors say tailored blood pressure treatment decisions based on a patient's overall cardiovascular disease risk and the estimated benefits of advancing treatment is a substantially more effective model of care.

Authors say new blood pressure guidelines could help patients make informed decisions about their care. For example, if patients knew that medication only slightly reduced their risk of a heart attack or stroke (e.g. from 8 in 100 to 6 in 100 over the next 10 years), they may decide medication is not the right choice for them.

"In addition to resulting in more positive health outcomes for patients, this approach provides the type of information we need to guide individual decisions tailored to the patients' preferences and priorities," says senior author Rod Hayward, professor of Medicine and Public Health and senior investigator at the VA Center for Clinical Management Research.

"Our research shows how we can estimate how much taking more blood pressure medicine will reduce an individual's risk of heart disease and strokes, so that they and their doctor can make the best decision for them."

Both Sussman and Hayward are members of the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation and the Center for Clinical Management Research at Ann Arbor VA..


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Contact: Beata Mostafavi
bmostafa@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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