Blood Pressure Treatment Lacking in People With Diabetes

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With clinical trials demonstrating the importance of tight blood pressure control for people with diabetes, you’d expect that those individuals would be receiving intensive treatment for high blood pressure. In most cases, however, you’d be wrong.

Researchers in Massachusetts collected two years’ worth of detailed information from medical records of 800 male veterans with high blood pressure. Among the 274 veterans with diabetes and hypertension, 73 percent had blood pressure greater than 140/90 mmHg, compared with only 66 percent of the 526 men with hypertension who did not have diabetes.

Those with diabetes also received significantly less intensive medication therapy to help lower blood pressure than individuals without diabetes. “Less intensive therapy in diabetic patients could not be explained by clinicians being distracted by the treatment for diabetes,” the researchers note.

Diabetes Care, February 2003

Clinical adviser’s note: The 2003 Clinical Practice Recommendations of the American Diabetes Association advise a blood pressure goal of less than 130/80 mmHg for adults with diabetes.

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