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The New Blood Pressure Number You Should Strive For

Dec. 29, 2015 Men's Health

Diagnosed with high blood pressure? For years, the standard treatment has been to cut your systolic blood pressure—the top number—to less than 140 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).

But that might not be low enough to really protect your heart: Reducing your blood pressure even further can add years to your life, new research from the New England Journal of Medicine suggests.

In the study, people with high blood pressure who achieved the systolic target of 120 mm Hg or less were 27 percent less likely to die of any cause over a 3-year follow up than people with high blood pressure who aimed for a systolic reading of 140 mm Hg or less.

They were also 38 percent less likely to develop heart failure and 43 percent less likely to die due to cardiovascular causes.

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