News Release

New research finds more intensive blood pressure treatment may prevent strokes in older adults

Peer-Reviewed Publication


An analysis of results from randomized clinical trials reveals that more intensive hypertension treatment may be helpful for preventing or delaying strokes in older adults.

The analysis, which is published by Wiley in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, included nine trials involving 38,779 adults with an average age ranging from 66 to 84 years and follow-up times ranging from 2.0 to 5.8 years.

Investigators found that it took 1.7 years to prevent 1 stroke for 200 older persons treated with more intensive hypertension treatment.

For older adults with baseline systolic blood pressures below 150 mmHg, the time to benefit of more intensive hypertension treatment was longer than 1.7 years; for older adults with baseline systolic blood pressure above 190 mmHg, the time to benefit was shorter than 1.7 years.

“While the 2017 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guidelines recommend individual risk discussions about hypertension treatment for primary prevention in older adults, there is a critical gap in data about how long a patient needs to receive blood pressure treatment before they will benefit—or the blood pressure treatment’s time to benefit,” said lead author Vanessa S. Ho, MS, of California Northstate University College of Medicine. “A treatment’s time to benefit is an especially important consideration for patients with a limited life expectancy who may experience immediate burdens or harms from any additional medication.”

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