Washington DC: A new study has revealed that lowering systolic blood pressure below the currently recommended target can reduce the risk of left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), the most common complication of high blood pressure.
LVH, the enlargement and thickening of the walls of the left ventricle, the heart's main pumping chamber, is associated with an increased risk of heart failure, stroke and even sudden cardiac death.
Although doctors have known that reversal of LVH can be achieved by sustained lowering of systolic blood pressure - the upper number on a blood pressure reading - it wasn't known if a strategy aimed at lowering blood pressure beyond the recommended level would reduce the risk.
The study provides evidence that making less than 120 the target systolic blood pressure in people with hypertension and diabetes reduces LVH, researcher Elsayed Z. Soliman, adding that lowering blood pressure even below the standard is good for heart muscle.
This, he added, is in line with the recent report from the SPRINT trial showing that blood pressure lowering below 120 mmHg reduces cardiovascular events by almost a third, as compared to the target systolic pressure of 140 mmHg.
The study is published in the early online edition of Hypertension.