Severe BP lowering treatment may harm diabetic patients

London: Diabetics who undergo intensive blood pressure lowering treatment, particularly those with systolic blood pressure levels under 140, may be at increased risk of death as a result of heart diseases, says a study.

“Our study shows that intensive blood pressure lowering treatment using anti-hypertensive drugs may be harmful for people with diabetes and a systolic blood pressure less than 140 mm Hg (millimetre of mercury),” said Mattias Brunstrom from Umea University in Sweden.

However, it is important to remember that blood pressure lowering treatment is crucial for the majority of people with diabetes whose blood pressure measures above 140, the researchers noted.

The researchers in the study, detailed in the BMJ (formerly British Medical Journal), carried out a systematic review and meta-analyses of the medical literature.

By analysing all published studies, together with a number of unpublished patient data, the researchers were been able to investigate the effects of blood pressure-lowering drugs in diabetes patients.

The results showed that the effect of anti-hypertensive treatment depends on the blood pressure level of the patient before treatment.

If the systolic blood pressure is higher than 140 mm Hg, then the treatment can result in a decreased risk of death by stroke, heart attack and heart failure.

However, if the systolic blood pressure is less than 140 mm Hg, the treatment can increase the risk of cardiovascular death, the researchers explained.