Overtreatment of High Blood Pressure May be Fixed with Personalized Treatment

Blood Pressure and DiabetesHigh blood pressure is a serious issue for those who suffer from diabetes. Moreover, according to the American Diabetes Association, approximately two-thirds of individuals with diabetes are forced to deal with high blood pressure. They recommend that these people keep their blood pressure below 130/80 mmHg to limit their risk for heart disease, stroke, and other serious medical complications. However, a study at the University of Michigan suggests that setting a specific blood pressure for all diabetes patients may result in less than stellar treatment.

The American Diabetes Association suggests that diabetes patients have their blood pressure checked each time they visit their doctors. They also suggest making lifestyle changes, such as altering ones diet and becoming more physically active. While all experts agree that these are positive actions to take, a new study disagrees with the prevailing method of treating all diabetes patients in the same way.

Each person reacts differently to treatments, with most other health issues. Some may need heavy doses of medication, while some may need only the slightest amount. This, according to the study, holds true for diabetes and high blood pressure.

The study focused on patients at the many facilities of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Researchers state that of the one million patients that frequent these centers, approximately 82 percent of them are given treatment for high blood pressure issues. However, due to the generalized blood pressure goal for all diabetes patients, 8 percent of them were over treated, and 6 percent were under treated. As is the result with many health problems, the generalized policy worked for the majority of patients, but there were exceptions to the rule, in this case 14 percent of them.

Researchers from the study say that a personalized form of high blood pressure therapy may be possible with the advent of digital or electronic records. With these records, doctors can easily access a patient’s records in one place and base their treatment on these records rather than a standard or average blood pressure. Even with this, though, the results of the study show that some sort of policy need to be put in place to give practitioners incentive to give patients personalized treatments.

Patients can also help with the matter by informing themselves about high blood pressure and diabetes, including the many ways they can alter their diet by only eating specific types or amounts of food or through exercise. There is also a rather large variety of medications available to treat this problem. Asking ones doctor about a specific brand may remind him that such an option exists. The American Diabetes Association provides significant amounts of information about these various aspects of high blood pressure and diabetes. Patients can also learn more about what their optimal blood pressure is and make sure the doctor does not mistakenly try to push it above or below that point in an effort to meet a particular standard. By pushing for personalized treatment, the likelihood of over treatment or under treatment of high blood pressure is insignificant.

 

Additional reference:

http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/high-blood-pressure-hypertension.html

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