Lowest blood pressure not always best: study

A study that turns conventional thinking on its head shows that in at-risk patients, a cut-off point is reached below which further reductions in blood pressure provide no added benefit.

Researchers looked at data from 4480 patients with hypertension taking part in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. 

Over a period of 21 years, participants had their systolic blood pressure measured at three year intervals.

At the same time, cases of heart failure, myocardial infarction, stroke, or death associated with heart disease were recorded.

The study found that lowering systolic blood pressure below 140mmHg was beneficial.

But reducing it still more to below the "normal" figure of 120mmHg had no further impact on the rate of cardiovascular events.

Lead author Dr Carlos Rodriguez, from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in the US, said: "Frequently we treat patients' blood pressure to the lowest it will go,