Intensive anti-hypertensive therapy reduces the risk of heart diseases in elderly patients without increasing the risk of falls or other problems, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health's Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT).
The study findings could have tremendous implication on anti-hypertensive therapy in elderly patients due to high prevalence.
The study enrolled over 2600 patients between the age of 75 and older. The subjects were randomized to receive either intensive antihypertensive therapy to maintain systolic blood pressure of 120 mm Hg or a standard range of 140 mm Hg.
When compared to standard target group, nearly 30% lower risk of developing cardiovascular complications and 25% reduced risk of associated mortality was observed in intensive treatment group. However, the intensive target group required additional one drug to achieve the desired treatment outcome.
Between the two groups, no significant differences in the complications rates related to hypotension including falls, acute renal injury, fainting etc were observed.
Intensive antihypertensive therapy could be helpful to ambulatory patients who are vulnerable to complications, which may disable and render the patients unambulatory. Additionally, antihypertensive therapy could reduce the risk of developing stroke, heart attack, heart failure and subsequent hospitalization risks.
Thankfully, most of the drugs employed in the study were generic which are fairly inexpensive. Generic drugs can help these patients live independently and help these patients to live independently without complications.
The study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association.