Is low blood pressure really as bad for you as high blood pressure?

Finally, to a brief article that was noted in last week’s BMJ. The journal Nature Medicine published a paper by Razo et al. looking at the relationship between blood pressure and heart disease.

The general view over the years has been that there is a J-shaped relationship between blood pressure and heart disease. That is, low blood pressure is bad for you, as is high blood pressure, but blood pressure values at the “bottom “of the J are best; not too high and not too low.

The team looked at many different studies and found that this generally accepted view did not fit the data. They found a continuous increase in risk from 100mg onward.

These figures are for your systolic blood pressure; that’s the top figure in a blood pressure (eg 130/80mmHg). It is generally accepted that you ideally want to keep your blood pressure below 135/85mmHg. However, this data shows that even a level of 130 carries an 80% increased risk of heart disease compared to a reading of 100mmHg.

In essence, this data indicates that the lower your blood pressure, the lower your risk of heart disease.  Another medical myth slayed.

Paul Zollinger-Read CBE

Group Medical Director 

The views expressed in the blog are my own personal views and are not intended as medical advice.

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