Blood pressure (BP) control is a critical part of managing patients with type 2 diabetes. Perhaps it is the single most important aspect of diabetes care, which unlike hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia can reduce both micro- and macrovascular complications. Hypertension is more prevalent in individuals with diabetes than general population, and in most cases its treatment requires two or more pharmacological agents (about 30% of individuals with diabetes need 3 or more medications to control BP).
In this article we describe the key evidence that has contributed to our understanding that reduced BP translates into positive micro- and macrovascular outcomes. We review the data supporting current recommendation for BP target < 130/80 mmHg. Two studies suggest that a lower BP goal could be even more beneficial. We also present the comparative benefits of various antihypertensive drugs in reducing diabetes-related micro- and macrovascular complications.
Finally we propose an evidence-based algorithm of how to initiate and titrate antihypertensive pharmacotherapy in affected individuals. Overall, achieving BP < 130/80 mmHg is more important than searching for the “best” antihypertensive agent in patients with diabetes.