Blood pressure lowering drugs: pros and cons

High blood pressure is probably the most prevalent disease in the western world. The WHO estimates that at least 20% of the world’s adult population has high blood pressure (a.k.a. hypertension), which is usually defined as a systolic blood pressure over 140 mmHg and/or a diastolic blood pressure over 90 mmHg (the systolic pressure is the pressure in the arteries when the heart is contracting, … Read more

How bad is salt for your health?

“Try to cut down on the salt.”

I’m sure many people have gotten this well-meaning piece of advice from their doctor, especially if their blood pressure is a little bit high. It ranks up there with not smoking or drinking alcohol and avoiding red meat, saturated fat, and sugary drinks as one of those things we’re told to do if we don’t want to die … Read more

How aggressively should high blood pressure be treated?

If you take blood pressure medications you probably have some interest in following your own blood pressure. But what many people don’t know is what target blood pressure they should be aiming for. If your blood pressure after treatment is 140/85, say, is that good or bad?

The SPRINT trial (Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial) set out to answer that question. It was funded by … Read more