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New Study Could Change Blood Pressure Guidelines

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The number of people with high blood pressure has been rising in Oklahoma for two decades. The number of people with high blood pressure has been rising in Oklahoma for two decades.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

We all know it's important to keep our blood pressure in check, but now there's word that getting your levels even lower can help save lives. A brand new study could change blood pressure guidelines. 

The number of people with high blood pressure has been rising in Oklahoma for two decades. More than one in three Oklahomans has high blood pressure. It can lead to heart disease and strokes -- two of the top five killers in our state.

But now, the National Institute of Health says a new study shows big benefits for patients who get their blood pressure below 120.

Researcher found those "50 and older" and at risk of heart disease who got below 120 reduced their risk factors by 35 percent. The study also says they lowered their risk of heart-related death by almost half.

Current guidelines recommend a blood pressure under 140.

"We really need to be more aggressive about getting the blood pressure down. And this study is showing us how important it is," said Dr.Suzanne Steinbaum with Lenox Hill Hospital.

The study of close to 10,000 patients did find a 1 to 2 percent higher rate of adverse effects of lower blood pressure like fainting and kidney failure. But still, researchers say they were so encouraged by the findings they cut the study short.

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