April 30 (UPI) -- Receiving intensive blood pressure therapy may help type 2 diabetics fight off cardiovascular disease, new findings show.
Death rates among people with type 2 diabetes treated with perindopril and indapamide fell by 14 percent compared to those who didn't get the treatment, according to research published Monday in the journal Hypertension. People with type 2 diabetes treated with the intensive blood pressure therapy also had 8 percent fewer heart attacks, strokes and other diabetic complications.
"Our findings demonstrate a benefit of more intensive therapy aiming for blood pressure thresholds at 130/80 or below and should help resolve some ongoing confusion over optimal blood pressure targets for people with diabetes," J. Bill McEvoy, a researcher at the Irish National Institute for Preventive Cardiology and study senior investigator, said in a news release.
The study included the health data of close to 11,000 type 2 diabetics gathered over four years from 20 countries.
The researchers say this work is important because having both hypertension and diabetes raises the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Although the trial showed overall effectiveness in reducing cardiovascular risk, it wasn't clear whether the intensive treatment helped patients who already had blood pressure readings below 140/80 mmHg.
Among adults with diabetes and hypertension, current guidelines say a person should begin anti-hypertensive treatment to lower blood pressure at 130/80 mmHg or higher, according to the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association.
"Patients, including those with diabetes, with blood pressure levels above 130/80 on two consecutive checks should discuss with their physicians whether they need a change in treatment to get to a lower number," McEvoy said.