A MORE aggressive approach to lowering blood pressure could help Brits live up to three years longer, a study suggests.
Guidelines say patients with hypertension should aim to slash systolic pressure – the top figure in a reading – to 140mmHg.
But Harvard University researchers, in the US, found there are even greater health benefits to be had by reducing it to 120.
They estimate lowering pressure this far, through healthy lifestyle and drugs, will add 4 to 9 per cent to a person’s lifespan.
Previous analysis of the data found those who hit the lower target had 25 per cent fewer heart attacks, strokes and heart failure.
‘MEANINGFULLY PROLONG LIFE SPAN’
A 50-year-old on intensive treatment could expect to live for an extra three years and a 65-year-old for more than an extra year.
An 80-year-old will likely add ten months to their life by lowering their blood pressure to 120mmHg, rather than 140mmHg.
Around a third of adults in the UK have high blood pressure, which puts a strain on the blood vessels, heart, brain and eyes.
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Study leader Dr Muthiah Vaduganathan said: “These are important steps to prolong your life free from disease or disability.
“This data reinforce that tighter blood pressure control, especially when started earlier in life, may meaningfully prolong life span.”
The findings were presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions in Philadelphia.