Researchers have found that some hospitals in the US are providing diabetics with overintensive treatment on blood pressure levels that may actually cause them harm, even for those who have healthy readings.
It is hoped the study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, could help improve guidelines for how diabetic patients are treated for their blood pressure. It monitored the medical records of nearly a million diabetes patients that were treated at veterans hospitals’ medical centers and outpatient clinics, with most either having normal blood pressure or being treated for high blood pressure treated according to current guidelines.
The overtreatment of blood pressure was found to be a problem, with over a third of patients with low blood pressure being on at least three different drugs
or were having their medications increased. It was found there was a percentage of diabetes patients who might initially require blood pressure medications, but that did not need them later on. Some of the drugs were unnecessary, and could result in problems for patients, such as weakness and dizzyness.
Lead author on the study, Eve Kerr, from the Department of Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System and the University of Michiga, said “Good control of blood pressure is important for decreasing bad outcomes for patients (with diabetes), such as heart attacks and kidney disease.”
However, she added “Sometimes when blood pressure gets too low, it’s okay to back off.”

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