Blood pressure medication use below 160/100 is worthless. While nothing in medical research is set in stone, some things are close.
A review done by the Cochrane Collaboration in 2012, a worldwide medical research think-tank, found that there was no evidence that drug treatment of high blood pressure for systolic below 160 and diastolic below 100 lowered the rates of heart attacks, strokes or death. That’s not to say that drugs for high blood pressure numbers like these does not actually work, just that there is no medical evidence to suggest that it does.
And let’s face it. This is a LOT of money we’re talking about here. Seemingly everyone is on blood pressure medications these days. If the drug companies had research to prove that their drugs worked, the Cochrane Collaboration review would’ve found it. I’m pretty sure there never will be research to show that medical management of high blood pressure below 160 and 100 works.
But what does this mean to a medical system that is so massively entrenched in dogma that I’m surprised they are not still doing bloodletting?
Apparently nothing. Personally, I have yet to see a patient come in who’s doctor recently took them off of blood pressure medications. This would, however, be a welcome sign that mainstream medical doctors actually read medical literature. This is the heart of this short commentary basically asking the same questions.
The continued use of blood pressure medications beyond today would be fine if they were (a) free and (b) free of side effects. Neither is true.
The cost to our healthcare system is monstrous and the list of side effects very long and can be reviewed in a previous blog article on this topic that can be read by clicking here. Most notably, however, is the increased risk of stroke and diabetes from beta blockers.
What does all of this mean? It means that, much like everything else, lifestyle is the only answer. Using lifestyle to lower your blood pressure WILL lead to lowered rates of heart disease, stroke and death. You can read my full recommendations in my Blood Pressure eBook that can be found by clicking here.
In the meantime, this is a great way to tell if your doctor is keeping up with the current medical literature as it relates to being the best advocate for your health. If he or she is not doing this, maybe it’s time to find a new one.