HealthDay News — Patients with type 2 diabetes are less likely to suffer myocardial infarctions, strokes, or early mortality when they take blood pressure medications — even if they don’t actually have hypertension, results of a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicate.

To determine the associations between blood pressure-lowering treatment and vascular disease in type 2 diabetes, Kazem Rahimi, MD, deputy director with the George Institute for Global Health at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues analyzed 40 studies with a total of 100,354 participants randomized to blood pressure-lowering treatment or placebo.

Each decrease of 10 mm mercury (Hg) in systolic blood pressure reading reduced the risk of early death by 13%, myocardial infarctions and similar problems by 1%, coronary heart disease by 12%, and stroke by 27%. The risk of albuminuria and retinopathy fell by 17% and 13%, respectively. The positive effect of the drugs was smaller in participants with lower blood pressure levels.

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In an accompanying editorial, Bryan Williams, MD, a professor of medicine with University College London, said Rahimi and colleagues’ review suggests “we should consider lowering blood pressure further than recommended in current guidelines” to reduce the risk of stroke.


  1. Rahimi K et al. JAMA. 2015; doi: 10.1001/jama.2014.18574
  2. Williams B. JAMA. 2015; doi: 10.1001/jama.2015.89