HealthDay News — About 1.7 years of more intensive hypertensive treatment would be needed to prevent one stroke per 200 older adults, according to research published online Feb. 9 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Vanessa S. Ho, from California Northstate University in Elk Grove, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis to estimate the time to benefit (TTB) for stroke prevention after initiation of more intensive hypertension treatment in adults aged 65 years or older. Data were abstracted from randomized controlled trials comparing standard to more intensive treatment groups among older adults. Data were included from nine trials, with 38,779 individuals.

The researchers found that for 200 persons receiving more intensive hypertensive treatment, 1.7 years were required to prevent one stroke. Across studies, there was heterogeneity; longer TTB was seen for studies focusing on tighter systolic blood pressure (SBP) control (SBP <150 mm Hg). In the SPRINT study (baseline SBP, 140 mm Hg; achieved SBP, 121 mm Hg), the TTB was 59 years to avoid one stroke for 200 treated patients.


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“These results suggest that almost all older adults with hypertension would benefit from treatment,” the authors write. “For older adults with relatively well-controlled hypertension (i.e., SBP <150 mm Hg), the TTB to prevent one stroke for 200 persons treated is likely substantially longer than 1.7 years.”

Abstract/Full Text