Reducing Blood Pressure Lowers Risk of Diabetes Complications

Reducing Blood Pressure Lowers Risk of Diabetes Complications

Posted on February 16, 2015 by ECR Louisville in Blog, Diabetes

Lowering blood pressure can significantly reduce the risk for many of the complications of Type 2 diabetes, a review of data from 40 trials involving more than 100,000 people with diabetes has found.

Diabetics are more vulnerable to the effects of hypertension than otherwise healthy people. Recent guidelines suggest that a systolic blood pressure (the top number) of 140 millimeters of mercury is a good goal for people with diabetes, but the new study found that 130 or even lower may be better.

The analysis, published in JAMA, found that a 10 point lowering from 140 was associated with a 13 percent reduction in the risk for death. They found the risk of coronary heart disease declined by 12 percent, and the risk of stroke by 26 percent. The 10-point lowering was also associated with a 13 percent reduction in retinopathy (a cause of blindness in people with diabetes) and a 17 percent reduction in albuminuria, an indication of kidney problems.

A co-author of the study, Dr. Kazem Rahimi, an associate professor of cardiovascular medicine at Oxford, said that whether it is beneficial to aim for a level even lower than 130 is unknown. But, he said, “If you are diabetic with a reading of 135 and not taking medication for high blood pressure, you are likely to benefit from taking it.”