Keeping blood pressure under control can help diabetics

Wed, 11 Jan 2012
Research carried out at the University of Chicago has claimed that middle-aged adults who have recently been diagnosed with diabetes or hypertension can benefit from the effective control of their blood pressure levels.

However, the study, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, showed that there is a delay in the problems associated with high blood pressure, giving new diabetes patients some time to bring their levels under control before the need for medication. Failing to have effective hypertension treatment for a year was shown not to have a great deal of impact on overall health, but that increasing the delay beyond that can be dangerous, with a 10-year delay shown to lower life expectancy by nearly five months.

Having high levels of blood pressure is known to increase the risk of coronary artery disease, kidney failure, stroke and vision loss for diabetics, and national diabetes organisations in the United States recommend that people with the condition should have a lower blood pressure target than the general public, preferably under 130/80 mmHg.

The research suggests that caregivers should help patients with their knowledge and skills on diabetes management, rather pushing them towards medication, particularly if their blood pressure is not excessively high.

Study author Neda Laiteerapong, commented "Most patients would prefer to control their blood pressure through diet and exercise rather than with medications, and it can take months to learn how to change old habits and master new skills."
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