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Lowering Systolic Blood Pressure to Less Than 120 mmHg May Reduce Risk of Cardiovascular Events

Usually, hypertension is defined as blood pressure above 140/90, and is considered severe if the pressure is above 180/120. Over time, if untreated, hypertension can cause health conditions, such as heart disease and stroke. A new study has found that lowering systolic blood pressure to less than 120 mmHg may reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events.

Participants in the study included 9,361 adults with hypertension who were at increased risk of cardiovascular disease. They were assigned to an intensive treatment target of systolic blood pressure less than 120 mmHg or a standard treatment target of less than 140 mmHg. Participants were followed for an average of 3.3 years.

The researchers found that participants in the intensive treatment target group had a significantly lower risk of major cardiovascular events (27%) and death from cardiovascular disease (25%), compared to participants in the standard treatment group.

The study was conducted by researchers from University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. It was published on May 20, 2021 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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