Heart attack risk despite antihypertensive drugs

Heart attack risk despite antihypertensive drugs

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Common disease hypertension: prevent high blood pressure

A new scientific study turns previous knowledge upside down. Patients who take antihypertensive drugs to lower blood pressure are still at an increased risk of developing serious cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks. "The risk is also increased for those affected who are well-adjusted with medications to lower blood pressure," explains the first author of the study.

Hypertension is one of the risks that people can influence themselves, both through lifestyle and with medication. If the disease is left untreated, the risk of stroke and heart attack increases.

Researchers from the Medical Faculty and the University Hospital Essen have now analyzed which groups of people are particularly affected by these two cardiovascular diseases.

Number one risk factor for cardiovascular diseases

According to the German Hypertension League, high blood pressure is the number one risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and these diseases are responsible for most deaths. Hypertension is common in the population.

This is also shown by the Heinz Nixdorf Recall Study, which was launched at the University Hospital Essen in 2000 with randomly selected citizens of the cities of Bochum, Essen and Mülheim a. d. Ruhr was carried out.

In this study, only 48 percent of the participants between 45 and 75 years had normal values, i.e. below 140/90 mm Hg. With appropriate medication, the blood pressure could be adjusted to the normal range in around 16 percent, explains the University of Duisburg-Essen in one Message.

In a further 14 percent, however, it remained elevated despite lowering blood pressure. By contrast, 22 percent of those examined had completely untreated hypertension. There are various reasons for this, for example, uncertainties in treatment recommendations and drug intolerance.

Risk increased even after taking antihypertensives

Within an observation period of 14 years it was found that all people with high blood pressure always developed cardiovascular diseases.

"Interestingly, the risk remains high for those who are well-adjusted with medications to lower blood pressure," explains Dr. Janine Gronewold, first author of the new study, which was published in the specialist journal "Hypertension".

“They had strokes and heart attacks twice as often as people with normal blood pressure. However, significantly fewer (-20 percent) cardiovascular diseases occurred in people with well-controlled blood pressure than in people with completely untreated hypertension. "

Check values ​​regularly

The scientists point out the importance of regularly monitoring your values ​​and taking preventive measures.

“Because we assume that high blood pressure will cause damage early on that will no longer respond to treatment,” explains Dr. Dirk M. Hermann, Professor of Vascular Neurology, Dementia and Age Research at the Clinic for Neurology.

For the study, his research team worked with that of the Institute for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology.

Lower blood pressure naturally

The most important and effective remedy for high blood pressure is a healthy lifestyle. For many people affected, this means a massive change in their habitual life. But it's worth it. Because, as the German Hypertension League explains on its website, a healthy lifestyle can often reduce mild hypertension to normal levels.

[GList slug = ”10 tips for high blood pressure”]

And sufferers with a more severe form of hypertension can achieve that they need to take as little medication as possible through a healthy lifestyle. The high pressure league has summarized its most important recommendations for a healthy lifestyle:

  • Aim for normal weight
  • moderate alcohol consumption
  • eat a little table salt
  • healthy eating
  • Refrain from nicotine
  • regular physical activity
  • regular daily routine with breaks for rest and relaxation

But if a person is diagnosed with severe hypertension, he should take medication to lower blood pressure immediately, the high-pressure league advises. On the other hand, if the diagnosis is mild or moderate hypertension, those affected should first implement as many of the listed recommendations for a healthy life as possible. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • University of Duisburg-Essen: widespread disease high blood pressure: prevent the risk; (Call: November 19, 2019), University of Duisburg-Essen
  • University of Duisburg-Essen: Heinz Nixdorf Recall Study, (accessed: November 19, 2019), University of Duisburg-Essen
  • Hypertension: Cardiovascular Risk and Atherosclerosis Progression in Hypertensive Persons Treated to Blood Pressure Targets, (accessed: November 19, 2019), Hypertension
  • German high pressure league: high blood pressure in numbers, (access: 19.11.2019), German high pressure league
  • German high pressure league: effectively combat high blood pressure, (access: 19.11.2019), German high pressure league

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