Can Your Blood Pressure Be Too Low?   

Can Your Blood Pressure Be Too Low?

Doctors will tell you to keep your blood pressure low by exercising, taking your medications regularly, and having regular pressure checks.

However, if you have a condition called heart failure, you should be careful not to go overboard with blood pressure lowering, as a report in the American Heart Journal states that lower blood pressures appear to raise the risk of death in patients with heart failure.

The report, based on data from 5,747 patients with moderate heart failure, showed that those with a systolic blood pressure (the top blood pressure reading) of lower than 100 mm Hg had a higher mortality rate than those with pressures between 130 and 139. And it gets more complicated: mortality fell as blood pressure rose from 100 mm Hg, but then increased slightly at 120 to 129, before falling again at 130.

In contrast, low diastolic blood pressure (the bottom blood pressure reading) was also linked to increased mortality, but in this case, mortality consistently fell from below 60 mm Hg to above 89 mm Hg, which conferred the lowest risk.

Hence, while blood pressure targets for the general population remain the same, those with heart failure may require more meticulous blood pressure monitoring from their health care provider.


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