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
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
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.