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Blood pressure-lowering drugs should be offered to all individuals at high risk of having a heart attack or stroke regardless of their blood pressure at the start of treatment, according to the largest meta-analysis conducted to date involving over 600,000 people, published in The Lancet.

High blood pressure, the leading cause of heart disease and stroke, affects more than one billion individuals worldwide, and kills 9.4 million people every year. The benefit of lowering blood pressure in patients with substantially raised blood pressures is well established. But uncertainty remains about whether to treat people with lower blood pressures or with previous disease, and which drugs to use.

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