Antihypertension Drugs Help People Over 80

Results were so good that a major trial was stopped early

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WEDNESDAY, Aug. 8, 2007 (HealthDay News) -- 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.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more about older adults and high blood pressure.

SOURCE: Imperial College London, news release, Aug. 6, 2007

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