Is low blood pressure better

I have low BP – typical reading can be 98/68 – and while I pat myself on the back for avoiding high BP, low can be difficult too. There are times when I feel plain sluggish, as if I need a jolt to get going. My doctor assures me I am fine and I probably am but I might feel better if my BP were a little higher. Some things that have worked to get going are a run, caffeine and from time to time, something. sweet. It would be great if a study included those of us with naturally low BP to see the effects over time. I would bet there are reduced CV events but is there something else lurking out there we don’t know about?

I, too, have low bp 100/60. I have had pulmonary embolisms twice. Dr. says low blood pressure equates to blood pooling in calves, so don’t sit too long. When traveling, get out and walk every hour, or, rotate your feet in all directions to get blood moving. Here’s a list of foods that lower blood pressure naturally.

One must be very cautious of basing anything on a single measurement.

With the medication, the major side effect was hypotension outside of the doctor’s office, yet readings were in the range of 160/85 when measured by him. Low blood pressure (systolic readings below 80) are very dangerous and life threatening. Hence, there is a limit, clearly.

Since 1990, I’ve been taking a various combinations of an ACE inhibitor and a beta blocker. And 5 years ago, he prescribed a diuretic as a third component to further lower my blood pressure.

Today, my blood pressure is under control with a good night sleep and cardio vascular or aerobic exercise early in the morning. Further, the DASH diet works very well, if followed.

Because high blood pressure is a silent killer, it must be identified and controlled earlyA UCLA study published in Lancet in 2000 examined the correlation between blood pressure and death rates from Framington data. The finding was that below 70th percentile blood pressure for a given age group, there was no increased death risk associated with blood pressure. The age 55-64 male 70th percentile is 148 systolic. It is 159 for age 65-75.

The previous positive correlation for lower BP was based on forcing a single linear slope on the data, in other words, flawed statistical analysis.

There may be good reasons to take BP medication but perhaps not just simple BP readings. Exercise, diet and lifestyle would be much better places to start. I understand that in Europe, BP meds are a last rather than first resort.

A very important detail of this study is that all the test subjects suffered from hypertension to start with.

There were no subjects who had normal (or lower) systolic blood pressure when left untreated. It would then be totally incorrect to draw any inference from this study about whether lower than normal systolic blood pressure lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease in people without a prior history of hypertension. It’s possible that the anti-hypertension drugs used to treat hypertension elevate the risk of cardiovascular disease through another unknown mechanism which tends to cancel out the benefit of lowering systolic BP below 120 mm/Hg.

The lead author you quote, Dr Rodriquez, may not be familiar with the 2013 guidelines from the American Diabetes Association and the results of the ACCORD Trial, which now state there are no populations, even those with diabetes, who benefit from blood pressures below 120/80.

As a physician hearing a patient’s a bit confused interpretation of an article like this, even from the Times, I usually shifted into teaching mode, explaining what was actually said, sometimes asking the patient to send me the article to read in order to provide clarification.

While the message here is that there were fewer benefits than expected from blood pressure below 120 in an observational study, presumably including many healthy people, one of the study authors nonetheless advocates that lower than 120 may be beneficial to people with heart disease and diabetes.

This is a more nuanced reading than what is stated in the opening paragraph, that most ‘experts’ (physicians?) believe that the lower the better with no benefit below a certain level. In other words, there are individual differences.

Thus the discussion with your doctor, also advised, is prudent rather than relying solely on what’s written here. Would readers read an article with a more nuanced and accurate beginning? I think so.


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