Antihypertension Drugs Help People
Results were so good that a major trial was stopped
An international study investigating the effects of giving
blood-pressure lowering drugs to people age 80 and older was halted
early after researchers found big reductions in stroke and deaths among
those receiving treatment.
The preliminary findings of the Hypertension in the Very Elderly
Trial, which included more than 3,800 people with high blood pressure,
suggests that lowering blood pressure significantly reduces both stroke
risk and overall death risk among octogenarians.
Patients in the study, which began in 2001 and was coordinated by
researchers from Imperial College London in the United Kingdom, received
either a placebo or a low dose diuretic (indapamide 1.5 mg SR), and an
additional ACE inhibitor (perindopril), in tablet form once a day.
The study was halted in July. Definitive findings will not be
available until all the data is collected and analyzed.
"It was not clear prior to our study whether the over-80s would
benefit from blood pressure lowering medication in the same way as
younger people. Our results are great news for people in this age group,
because they suggest that where they have high blood pressure, such
treatment can cut their chances of dying as well as stroke," principal
investigator Chris Bulpitt, professor emeritus, Care of the Elderly
Department at Imperial College London, said in a prepared statement.
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