A new study has revealed that middle-aged adults who are recently diagnosed with diabetes and hypertension have at least one year time to try to learn how to control their high blood pressure without medications. However further delay can increase damage.
The consequences of delaying effective hypertension treatment for up to a year were small-a two-day reduction in quality-adjusted life expectancy-according to University of Chicago researchers
But as the delay gets longer, the damages multiply. A ten-year delay decreased life expectancy by almost five months.
"For newly diagnosed patients, this means we have time," said study author Neda Laiteerapong, MD, instructor of medicine at the University of Chicago.
"Most patients would prefer to control their blood pressure through diet and exercise rather than with medications, and it can take months to learn how to change old habits and master new skills. Our results indicate that it's OK to spend from six months to a year, perhaps even longer, to make the difficult lifestyle changes that are necessary and will pay off in the long run," she explained.
The study was published online for the Journal of General Internal Medicine.