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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

Michigan Study: “Smarter” Blood Pressure Guidelines Could Prevent Heart Attacks and Strokes

Individualizing treatment recommendations using patients’ personal risk of heart disease is a more effective way to treat patients, according to the University of Michigan study recently published in Circulation. Senior author Dr. Rod Hayward, professor of public health at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, along with lead author Dr. Jeremy Sussman, clinical lecturer in the department of internal medicine at the School of Medicine, and School of Public Health alumnus Dr. Sandeep Vijan, calculate that this new way of using blood pressure-lowering medications could prevent more than a fourth of heart attacks and strokes while using less medication overall. Individualizing treatment recommendations is based on considering multiple factors, such as age, gender, and whether or not the patient smokes, as opposed to the traditional “one-size-fits-all” blood pressure values that lead to unnecessary over and under medication. Basing treatment guidelines not only on blood pressure goals but also on a patient’s overall cardiovascular risk was found to be substantially more effective.