Current Server: Not Whitelisted
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama

Looking For Insurance?

View Plans

Select content that is important to you from the menu below.

Click on a category, then drag and drop the daily article news feed that interests you into the area below.

Your Body: For people with hypertension, aiming for very low blood pressure doesn’t seem to help
Source: The Washington Post

THE QUESTION For people with hypertension, lowering blood pressure to a normal range has proven benefits for heart health. Might lowering it more be even better?

THIS STUDY involved 4,480 men and women who averaged 55 years old and had hypertension but no cardiovascular disease at the start of the study. Over the next 22 years, blood pressure levels were assessed periodically. In that time, 1,622 cardiovascular problems — including heart attack, stroke, heart failure and death related to heart disease — were recorded for the group.

Those whose blood pressure levels remained elevated, with a systolic pressure (the first or top number) of 140 or higher, were most likely to have had a cardiovascular problem, 46 percent more likely than those with a low systolic number. However, people whose blood pressure dropped to a low level, defined as a systolic reading lower than 120, were no less likely to have had a cardiovascular issue than were those who had a systolic blood pressure in the normal range (120 to 139).

WHO MAY BE AFFECTED? People with hypertension (indicated by a blood pressure reading of 140/90 or higher), which increases their risk for heart problems. Efforts to lower blood pressure include changing such lifestyle factors as diet and exercise, taking medication, or both. In the United States, one of every three adults has high blood pressure.

CAVEATS The study did not assess whether the method used to lower blood pressure (medication or lifestyle changes, alone or in combination) had any bearing on the risk for cardiovascular problems.

FIND THIS STUDY June 16 online issue of JAMA Internal Medicine (

LEARN MORE ABOUT high blood pressure at and (click on "Conditions").

The research described in Quick Study comes from credible, peer-reviewed journals. Nonetheless, conclusive evidence about a treatment's effectiveness is rarely found in a single study. Anyone considering changing or beginning treatment of any kind should consult with a physician.


Customers should always refer to their benefit booklet or call the customer service number on the back of their identification card for detailed coverage information and limitations. See our legal disclaimer for more details.

Important Information:

What you need to know about the recent cyber attack: Excellus

Affordable Care Act

Healthcare Reform Questions? Learn More


What's your HQ Score? Get Started Now!