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HomeHealth ConditionsHypertensionControlling blood pressure in older individuals may increase mortality rates

Controlling blood pressure in older individuals may increase mortality rates

A recent study assessed whether controlling blood pressure with anti-hypertensive treatment would be associated with a reduced rate of morality.

High blood pressure is one of the most prevalent health concerns in adults across the globe.

A recent study aimed to understand whether maintaining ‘normal’ blood pressure values would have an impact on life expectancy in older adults.

Do Blood Pressure Values Matter?

Researchers in Berlin, Germany wanted to assess the relationship between blood pressure measurements and mortality rate for older residents in Berlin.

They published their results in the European Heart Journal.

This prospective study utilized a patient database spanning November 2009 to June 2011. They compared the blood pressure measurement value of patients to their risk of death over a period of several years. The aim was to test whether lowering blood pressure measurements through use of anti hypertensives was associated with higher or lower mortality.

The follow-up time for the patients was a median of 73 months and the study ended in December 2016. The researchers took into consideration age, smoking, and alcohol consumption status.

It was also noted whether the patients were diabetic or not, and the amount of glycosylated hemoglobin was considered.

The type of antihypertensives used included diuretics, beta-blockers, and angiotensinogen-inhibitor drugs.

Normalizing blood pressure increased the risk of mortality in older individuals

Surprisingly, the results showed that normalizing the blood pressure increased the risk of mortality.

When further investigation was done, it was found that systolic blood pressure less than 130mmHg had a greater value in being attributed to the higher mortality rates than the diastolic value.

This increased with age, going to over 40% higher risks for those over 80 years of age.

The risk was high in patients who had existing cardiovascular disorders.

The study results show that although controlling blood pressure may be good for overall health, more research is needed to determine what the effects normalizing blood pressure are on mortality.

Written by Dr. Apollina Sharma, MBBS, GradDip EXMD

Relevant topics that may be of interest to you:

Reference: Douros, Antonios, et al. “Control of blood pressure and risk of mortality in a cohort of older adults: the Berlin Initiative Study.” European heart journal (2019).

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