Navigation Links
Elderly Can Benefit From High Blood Pressure Treatment
Date:3/31/2008

Lowering pressure significantly reduces risk of stroke and heart failure for those over 80, study finds

MONDAY, March 31 (HealthDay News) -- Despite some doctors' reluctance to do so, a new study finds that treating high blood pressure in patients 80 age and older can reduce the rate of stroke, heart failure and death from cardiovascular disease.

The degree to which elderly patients receive treatment for a variety of conditions, including high blood pressure, is controversial, with some physicians believing that aggressive treatment may do more harm than good.

"This elderly population is growing dramatically and we lack much information about how best to care for these patients," said Dr. Harlan M. Krumholz, a professor of medicine at Yale University School of Medicine, who was not involved in the study.

Many doctors often think these patients are too old to treat, Krumholz said. "We get nihilistic by saying, 'Someone's 80 years old, what are you going to do at this point?' " he said. "The older you are, the less aggressively we treat you."

The study results were released Monday by the New England Journal of Medicine, to coincide with a presentation at the American College of Cardiology's annual meeting, in Chicago.

In the Hypertension in the Very Elderly Trial, an international team of researchers assigned 3,845 people 80 and older with high blood pressure to be treated with either a diuretic to lower their blood pressure or to receive a placebo.

After two years of therapy, the systolic blood pressure among patients taking the diuretic was 15 mmHg lower than patients receiving a placebo. And their diastolic pressure was 6.1 mmHg lower than the placebo patients, the researchers found. Systolic and diastolic pressures are the top and bottom numbers in a reading, respectively.

Most important, the rate of stroke among patients receiving the blood pressure medication was 30 percent lower and the rate of death from stroke was reduced by 39 percent, compared with people receiving a placebo.

In addition, there was a 23 percent drop in the rate of death from cardiovascular disease, and a 64 percent reduction in the rate of heart failure among patients receiving a diuretic, compared with those receiving a placebo. There were also fewer adverse events among people on the blood pressure medication, and a 21 percent drop in the rate of death from all causes, according to the study.

"In the elderly, acts of omission are tolerated much more than acts of commission," Krumholz said. "Somehow we are much more comfortable with neglecting something and saying, 'This is just nature taking its course,' than saying, 'We may have an opportunity to make a difference here,' " he said.

Studies like this reassure doctors that treating the elderly can be beneficial, he added.

Krumholz emphasized that the treatment given to the patients in the study cannot be generalized to include other medication regimens. "It may be true that certain medication regimens are better than others. If we want to use other regimens than we must study them," he said.

Dr. Gregg C. Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, agreed that the new study should encourage doctors to treat elderly patients with high blood pressure more aggressively.

"This study convincingly demonstrates that the benefits of treating high blood pressure in patients age 80 and above greatly outweighs the risks," he said.

More information

Learn more about high blood pressure from the American Heart Association.



SOURCES: Harlan M. Krumholz, M.D., professor, medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.; Gregg C. Fonarow, M.D., professor, cardiology, University of California, Los Angeles; March 31, 2008, presentation, American College of Cardiology annual meeting, Chicago; March 31, 2008, New England Journal of Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Gene Tied to Post-Op Delirium in Elderly
2. Chinas 1-child policy could backfire on its elderly
3. Divorce foretells childs future care for elderly parent
4. Brain atrophy in elderly leads to unintended racism, depression and problem gambling
5. Planning for 2020: increasing elderly population poses huge challenges in cancer care
6. NIH scientists describe ways to better assess benefits of influenza vaccine in the elderly
7. Survey reveals ignorance and confusion about cancer amongst the elderly
8. Colorectal cancer screening remains essential for elderly Americans
9. Evotec Reports Positive Top-Line Results in Phase II Study With EVT 201 in Elderly Insomniacs With Daytime Sleepiness
10. Elderly Medicare, Medicaid patients not receiving quality care
11. Most Elderly Dont Get Good Medical Care: Study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Elderly Can Benefit From High Blood Pressure Treatment
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to ... Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to ... fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Dr. Calvin Johnson ... Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating his patients. ... the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that orthopaedic surgeons ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell Observance Day. In an effort ... holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, Michigan, has issued a pain ... Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood cells, which can cause episodes ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited to announce they ... to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. Comfort Keepers provides ... life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments is one of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Puradigm® & Innovative Solutions today ... cultivation and processing operations at its production facility, and opened its first two ... the manufacturer of a complete system of proactive air and surface purification solutions ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Va. , June 24, 2016 The ... set of recommendations that would allow biopharmaceutical ... (HCEI) with entities that make formulary and coverage decisions, ... the "value" of new medicines. The recommendations ... does not appear on the drug label, a prohibition ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 According to ... Type (Standard Pen Needles, Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length ... Growth Hormone), Mode of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends ... report studies the market for the forecast period of ... USD 2.81 Billion by 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  MedSource announced today that it ... software solution of choice.  This latest decision demonstrates ... to their clients by offering a state-of-the-art electronic ... establishes nowEDC as the EDC platform of choice ... clients.  "nowEDC has long been a preferred EDC ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: