Blood pressure control in older adults: new research raises questions


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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New research suggests achieving a target blood pressure (BP) of below 140/90 mmHg may not actually be beneficial for all older patients. 

In a new study, researchers in Germany examined data on 1,628 patients aged at least 70 years to assess whether BP values below 140/90 mmHg during anti-hypertensive treatment were associated with a decreased risk of all-cause mortality.  

During 8,853 person-years of follow-up, 469 patients died. The study found that normalised BP was not associated with a decreased risk but with a 26 per cent increased risk of all-cause mortality in older adults. The authors noted that while there was a tendency towards a decreased risk of all-cause mortality associated with normalised BP in patients aged between 70 and 79 years, there was an increased risk in patients aged 80 years or older and in patients with previous cardiovascular events.

"Our results show clearly that, within these groups of patients, anti-hypertensive treatment should be adjusted based on the needs of the individual," said Dr Antonios Douros of Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany. "We should move away from the blanket approach of applying the recommendations of professional associations to all groups of patients."

The research is published in the European Heart Journal