Dear Dr. Roach: I am 68 and have been taking benazepril to control my high blood pressure for 20 years. I often read that high blood pressure can put a person at risk for different issues, including complications with COVID-19. Since my blood pressure is within normal range with medication, am I still at risk for high blood pressure issues? — M.R.W.
Answer: High blood pressure does put people at higher risk for medical issues, especially stroke and heart attack. Reducing these risks is the major reason to treat with blood pressure medication.
Over many years and hundreds of studies, it is now accepted that the sooner blood pressure is treated, and the closer the treated blood pressure is to normal blood pressure, the better the reduction in risk of complications. Most experts aim to get the blood pressure down to near-normal, if that is possible to do without too many side effects.
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