, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 651-659

What Is the Ideal Blood Pressure Goal for Patients with Diabetes Mellitus and Nephropathy?

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There appears to be a broad consensus among professional health organizations that a blood pressure (BP) of 130/80 mm Hg or less is the recommended therapeutic BP target for subjects with diabetes mellitus. This review focuses on key studies that have examined the relationship between BP reduction and its impact on diabetic complications. An attempt is being made to identify the BP level at which maximum protection against diabetic complications is conferred, and below which further reduction no longer delivers a benefit that exceeds risk. Specific attention has been accorded to data contributing to establishing ideal BP goals in diabetic patients with nephropathy. On the basis of recent studies, it would appear that a BP below 140/90 mm Hg should be recommended for all diabetic individuals, and around 135/85 mm Hg for most. BP should be closer to, but not below, 130/80 mm Hg for those subjects at the highest cardiovascular risk. For those diabetic subjects at highest risk for stroke, lower BP may provide greater protection against stroke as shown in the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) trial. In younger individuals with diabetes and hypertension of shorter duration, it may be possible to lower BP below 130/80 mm Hg without untoward side effects and in fact with cardiovascular benefit, but this remains to be demonstrated. The ideal BP goal in diabetic patients with nephropathy remains questionable, and for now, the recommended target must be considered the same as that for the general diabetic population.