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Lowering systolic blood pressure to below 120 would save more than 100,000 lives per year

Intensive treatment to lower systolic (top number) blood pressure to below 120 would save more than 100,000 lives per year in the United States, according to a study led by Loyola University Chicago researcher Holly Kramer, MD, MPH.

Two thirds of the lives saved would be men and two thirds would be 75 or older, according to the study, which was presented at the American Heart Association's Council on Hypertension 2016 Scientific Sessions. Current guidelines recommend keeping systolic blood pressure below 140 mm Hg.

"When the treatment goal was lowered to a maximum of 120 mmHG, there was a huge reduction in mortality," said Dr. Kramer, the study's first author. "Few other medical interventions have such a large effect."

 

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