After a recent study cut short, doctors and health care professionals around the country are encouraging individuals take their blood pressure levels more seriously.
Though the study was supposed to end in 2017, major answers about how low blood pressure should go were presented early on in the study.
How low, indeed?
For years the standard for how low patients with high blood pressure has been questioned. We’ve come to know the standard for healthy blood pressure as anything at or below 140/100.
But questions about how far and how aggressively patients should lower their blood pressure have gone unanswered.
Doctors determined to answer the question, believing that lowering blood pressure more aggressively could be a good plan for lowering the risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke among Americans, set up this study to discover how important it is to aggressively lower blood pressure. Heart disease is, after all, the number one killer in the U.S.
The study itself assigned “goal blood pressure” to a group of 9,300 men and women. Participants in this group were age 50 or older, and had a high health risk for heart disease.
These men and women were assigned a blood pressure goal of either 120 systolic, lower than any guideline ever suggested before, or 140 systolic.
Systolic blood pressure indicates the top number of blood pressure, the number that represents the pressure against artery walls when the heart contracts.
Over the course of the study, these individuals were asked to lower their blood pressure to the number they were given.
As the study progressed, their risk for heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke were monitored.
There are lingering concerns regarding studies that aim to raise the standards for healthy blood pressure by lowering the number considered “healthy”.
For instance, the question of the elderly who might actually need to maintain a higher blood pressure due to aging, and the need for more blood to the kidneys and the brain.
However, the results were so conclusive and positive the study ended early, as doctors found that lowering the systolic blood pressure standard to 120 could be life-saving in the fight against heart disease in America.
“This study provides potentially lifesaving information,” Dr. Gary H. Gibbons, director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, said in a statement announcing the decision to end the study early.
You heard that right. While the importance of lowering blood pressure has always been high, doctors are now calling for even more aggressive pursuit of lowering blood pressure and treating the problem that is heart disease in America.
“This study will shake things up,” predicted Dr. J. F Michael Gaziano, a professor of medicine at Harvard who was not involved with the study.
“It is outstanding news,” said Dr. Mark Creager, president of the American Heart Association and director of the Heart and Vascular Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, who was not involved in the study. “It will serve as a road map and will save a significant amount of lives.”
This means a healthy diet, regular exercise, and even l-arginine supplements could become more important now than ever.
From the DASH diet to cardio exercise, there are many options for lowering your blood pressure, options that go beyond just medication.
Don’t forget that in addition to healthy diet and exercise, L-Arginine Plus can help increase your nitric oxide production and improve blood flow.
While additional medications may be given to patients with high blood pressure, side effect have the potential to wipe out any benefits. Options like L-arginine Plus naturally and safely support healthy blood pressure levels.