Managing High Blood Pressure In Type 2 Diabetes Sufferers Could Save Lives

September 10, 1998

High blood pressure has been known to be a "bad companion" of diabetes for many years. This week's BMJ publishes three papers which are based on a long running study conducted by the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study Group and it is hoped that the results will now offer clinicians some effective treatment options for diabetes sufferers with high blood pressure.

The research group, led by Professor Robert Turner, from the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford, found that by lowering blood pressure in non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes patients in the long term, clinicians can diminish diabetic complications by a quarter (24 per cent) and reduce diabetes related deaths (usually due to heart attack or stroke) by a third (32 per cent). The Group has shown that Beta blockers or angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors are equally effective in managing high blood pressure in type 2 diabetes patients.

The UK Prospective Diabetes Study Group also examined the cost effectiveness of managing blood pressure in diabetes patients and they found that tight control of blood pressure substantially reduced costs to the health service, by reducing complications in later life. Furthermore such treatment seems to give patients a longer life expectancy with fewer complications.

The authors conclude that on both clinical and economic grounds the use of a policy of tight control of blood pressure in hypertensive patients with non-insulin dependent diabetes is justified.


Gill Sanders, Press Office, University of Oxford, Oxford

Dawn Duncan or James Yeandel, Press Office, Medical Research Council, London


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