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Major new study backs more aggressive treatment of high blood pressure

Major new study backs more aggressive treatment of high blood pressure

A major new study shows treating high blood pressure more aggressively than usual cuts the risk of heart disease and death in people over age 50, the National Institutes of Health said Friday.

How tightly to control hypertension is controversial, especially as people get older. But the study's preliminary results showed strong enough benefits that NIH stopped the research about a year early.

"More intensive management of high blood pressure in people 50 years and older can save lives and reduce cardiovascular complications such as heart attacks," said Dr. Gary Gibbons, director of the NIH's National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, which sponsored the study.

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