New push to drug people for 'prehypertension'
Being told you have "prehypertension" is about as ridiculous as a man being told he's "pre-pregnant."
It's nonsensical. Yet not only does the mainstream keep pushing this as some sort of real diagnosis, they actually want to DRUG people for it. This time, they claim "prehypertension" patients who take their pills have a lower risk of stroke.
You don't need me to tell you that strokes can be both notoriously unpredictable and potentially deadly -- so anything that REALLY lowers the risk is worth some attention. But don't start sniffing around your doctor's office for an ACE inhibitor or a beta blocker just yet...
In the analysis of 16 handpicked studies involving more than 70,000 patients who took either BP meds or a placebo, researchers found that just 2.01 percent of patients on drugs suffered a stroke.
That sounds low -- and highly effective -- until you see that just 2.61 percent of those who got a placebo suffered a stroke.
That's an absolute difference of 0.6 percent.
And if you think that's unimpressive, you should see the rest of this study -- because these supposedly heart-helping drugs didn't make a hint of a difference in the number of heart attacks... and not even a dent in the rate of cardiovascular death.
Heck, these meds didn't even lower BP all that much: When all was said and done, patients who took the drugs had an average systolic (top number) reading of 130.5... while patients who took a placebo had an average of 134.2.
That's almost no difference at all -- and still squarely in the "prehypertension" category, for those of you keeping score.
Bottom line on hypertension -- "pre" or otherwise -- is what I've said all along: Any doc who focuses on just the number is doing you a disservice. It's possible to have perfect BP and be deathly ill -- just like it can be sky high and nothing to worry about.
A good doc will look beyond the numbers and know when you might need treatment -- and, more importantly, when you don't.