It turns out that a single tablet with two drugs can change the way a patient with fluctuating blood pressure is treated.
A recent study by the European Society of Cardiology has confirmed this.
Research has confirmed that a major reason for poor blood pressure control rates is that patients do not take their pills. Non-compliance increases with the number of pills, so administering two drugs (or three if needed) in a single tablet could change blood pressure control rates.
Previously, doctors recommended gradual treatment, which meant starting with a drug, then adding a second or third if needed. This led only to a "sluggishness of the doctor", in which the doctors, despite the lack of success, reluctant to change the original strategy.
The researchers claim that at least 80% of patients should have been upgraded to two drugs.
"The vast majority of patients with high blood pressure should start with two medications as a single pill, and these pills are already available and should dramatically improve treatment success, with corresponding reductions in stroke, heart disease, and early deaths," said lead researcher, Professor Bryan Williams.
More than one billion people worldwide suffer from high blood pressure. About 30-45% of adults are affected and more than 60% of them are over 60 years old.
High blood pressure is the leading cause of premature death worldwide, causing nearly 1
Hypertension usually causes no symptoms, but people with very high blood pressure may experience headache, blurred or double vision, regular nosebleeds, difficulty breathing, chest pain, arrhythmia, blood in the urine, confusion or bumps in the chest, neck or ears.
Researchers recommend that people with the above symptoms be checked immediately by a doctor.
"Many more millions of people, especially those in older age groups, should be treated for high blood pressure." If you are 65 to 80 years old and your blood pressure is over 140/90 mm Hg, consult your doctor suggest that the treatment would reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease, "added Williams.
It is increasingly recognized that infirmity, independence, and biological rather than chronological age determine the tolerability and likely benefit of antihypertensive drugs. For people over 80 years of age who have not yet received blood pressure treatment, therapy should be performed if the systolic blood pressure is 160 mmHg or greater, as per the study.
Researchers have even recommended that people who are already on medication should not retire at the age of 80, if well tolerated.
Systolic blood pressure in the range of 120-129 mmHg for patients less than 65 years and 130-139 mmHg for patients over 65 years should be treated immediately. Blood pressure below 120 mmHg should not be the goal for any patient as the risk of harm outweighs the potential benefit.
If blood pressure is not controlled by three drugs that are given in a single pill, a condition called resistant hypertension, a second pill containing a diuretic such as spironolactone should be added. Device-based therapy is not recommended for the routine management of these patients and should only be used in clinical trials.
Doctors recommend a healthy lifestyle to all patients, regardless of blood pressure, as they can delay the need for medication to supplement their effects. The advice includes salt restriction, abstinence from alcohol, good nutrition, regular exercise, weight control, smoking cessation and a new recommendation to avoid binge drinking.
The study is published in the European Heart Journal.
(This story was not edited by Business Standard staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)