Blood Pressure Management in the 21st Century: Maximizing Gains and Minimizing Waste
The development of effective pharmacological strategies for lowering blood pressure was one of medical science's major success stories of the 20th century. Blood pressure was proven beyond doubt to be causally and continuously related to future risk of cardiovascular events,1 and lowering blood pressure was proven to reduce that risk.2-4 Pooled data from randomized trials collectively showed that lowering systolic blood pressure by 10 mmHg reduced coronary heart disease risk by about a quarter and risk of stroke by about a third, irrespective of prior disease history, initial blood pressure level, or the type of agent used. These studies also demonstrated that more intensive blood pressure lowering resulted in additional risk reduction, with the benefits proportional to the size of the fall in pressure.4,5
- Received October 17, 2013.
- Accepted October 18, 2013.