A new research published in the American Heart Association’s (AHA) journal Hypertension, has shown that people with type 2 diabetes who received intensive treatment to keep blood pressure levels at or below 130/80 mmHg may reduce the risk of death from any cause.
Diabetes is one of the most common and costly chronic conditions in Nigeria, with over 5 million people living with diabetes or prediabetes, according to the 2017 report compiled by Journal of Medical Research and Health Education.
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. Blood glucose is your main source of energy and comes from the food you eat. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps glucose from food get into your cells to be used for energy.
Hypertension is another name for high blood pressure. It can lead to severe complications and increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and death. Blood pressure is the force exerted by the blood against the walls of the blood vessels. Unmanaged hypertension can lead to a heart attack, stroke, and other problems.
Doctors define “prehypertension” as 120–139 mm Hg for systolic pressure and between 80–89 mmHg for diastolic pressure. They consider a pressure of 140/90 mmHg as high.
Many people with diabetes also have high blood pressure. Studies found that at least 1 in 3 people with diabetes also have hypertension.
Diabetes and high blood pressure make for a deadly combination because one condition makes the other worse. Diabetes may increase blood pressure by reducing the blood vessels’ ability to stretch, increasing the fluid in the body, and affecting how the body manages insulin.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), nearly 70 percent of people age 65 or older with diabetes die from cardiovascular disease, and 16 percent die of stroke. In addition, people with diabetes are up to four times more likely to die from heart disease than those without diabetes.
The study’s senior investigator J. Bill McEvoy, a professor of preventive cardiology at the National University of Ireland in Galway said their findings demonstrated a benefit of more intensive therapy aiming for blood pressure thresholds at 130/80 [mmHg] or below and should help resolve some ongoing confusion over the best blood pressure targets for people with diabetes.
The 2017 AHA blood pressure guidelines recommended intensive treatment for people with diabetes and hypertension to help reduce their blood pressure. The new study revealed that blood pressure levels of 130/80 mm/Hg may benefit people regardless of cardiovascular risk.
To know the importance of the intensive hypertension therapy, the researchers analyzed the outcomes of about 11,000 people with type 2 diabetes. The researchers clinically followed the study participants over 4 years across multiple clinical centers and locations.
The scientists examined people with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, who had different levels of cardiovascular risk, and who received intensive treatment. They then compared them with people with the same conditions who received a placebo.
Previous findings had suggested that hypertension treatment was effective, but researchers did not know whether this benefit also applied to people with diabetes and blood pressure below 140/90 mmHg.
The new study looked at rates of overall death from any cause and found that all people benefited from intensive treatment, regardless of cardiovascular risk.