High Blood Pressure Target Puts People with Diabetes at Risk

A move to raise blood pressure goals in Sweden is questioned by researchers.

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A recent study suggests that a move to raise the target number for blood pressure in people with diabetes in Sweden may heighten the risk for stroke and other cardiovascular complications. This is important because cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death for people with Type 2 diabetes.


According to a Healio report, Swedish health officials recently raised the goal for systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) from below 130 mm Hg to below 140 mm Hg. Now, some health researchers warn that this move may be putting people with diabetes at risk.

Dr. Professor Staffan Bjorck from the Sahlgrenska Academy in Sweden reviewed hospital discharge data, drug prescription histories, and cause-of-death data for 187,106 adults with Type 2 diabetes over a six-year period. After the information was examined, researchers discovered that 30 percent of the deaths that occurred within that group could be traced back to cardiovascular causes. They also found that those in the group with the lowest systolic blood pressure had the lowest risk of cardiovascular-related death.


The findings provide evidence that lower blood pressure can decrease the risk of cardiovascular complications in people with Type 2 diabetes. So far, there is no word whether Swedish health officials will revise their blood pressure guidelines based on the new findings.

Consider such discussion a gentle reminder to regularly check your blood pressure, and to seek medical help in controlling blood pressure levels, should they be too high.

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Courtney Major currently attends Emerson College where she majors in Writing, Literature, and Publishing with a minor in Marketing Communications.