Intensive therapies to lower high blood pressure among elderly adults may reduce risk of cardiovascular events, without augmenting risks for falls, according to the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. 75 percent of adults over age 75 in the United States have hypertension.
High blood pressure or hypertension occurs when blood pumping through the arteries is too strong. It can cause serious health problems when it remains high during a long-term, said PubMed Health from the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
It affects people from all ages, although it is more frequent among adults over age 65. An estimated 76.4 million people in the nation have high blood pressure. During 2016, 7 million people will die as a consequence of illness caused by hypertension, said PubMed Health.
Researchers at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center suggest that current guidelines regarding optimal systolic blood pressure (SBP) treatments are not “consistent”. Systolic blood pressure measures pressure in the arteries when the heart beats, said the American Heart Association (AHA).
Study details and other theories: low levels of high blood pressure are beneficial
A new study analyzed blood pressure data from 2,636 adults aged 75 or older. Results were published May 19 in the Journal of the american Medical Association. Researchers excluded people with diabetes and heart failure from the trial.
Researchers compared results of those who received intensive treatment to achieve 120 mmHg and those who received standard treatments to achieve 140 mmHg. For adults over age 20, systolic pressure should be less than 120 mmHg, said the AHA.
Adapting medicine levels to obtain a lower systolic pressure level of 120 millimeters of mercury is linked to decreased risk of developing heart attack. Not only that, it’s also linked to heart failure and stroke, by a third. By contrast, achieving a systolic pressure of 140 mm Hh has been linked to higher risks of death.
“Some of the most vulnerable ambulatory people in the community who may suffer complications of high blood pressure can benefit from intensive blood pressure lowering and it is safe to do so,” said Jeff Williamson, professor of gerontology at Wake Forest Baptist and lead author of the study.
Williamson added that a major portion of hospitalized elderly adults develop heart failure, stroke and heart attack, which are triggered by hypertension. Most medications used in the study were generic in order to avoid high costs, he said.
Researchers studied complications of lower blood pressure, including hospitalizations, falls, kidney injury and fainting. People in both groups, receiving different treatments, showed no differences in incidence of those elements.
Elderly adults may live more time at home if they receive proper treatment
New findings are fundamental for elderly adults, who present a major prevalence of high blood pressure. Dr. Williamson said that hypertension can cause devastating consequences “on the independent function of people”.
If patients receive proper treatment for achieving lower blood pressure levels, they may spend more time “living independently in their homes”, said Williamson. They would also avoid health conditions that require care at hospitals.
American Heart Association: High blood pressure is called “the silent killer”
High blood pressure is called “the silent killer” among physicians, given that it does not has any apparent symptom. However, this “symptomless disease” damages the arteries, heart and other organs, wrote the AHA.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the nation. Every year an estimated 610,000 Americans die as a consequence of heart-related problems, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a facts sheet.
Most common types of heart disease are coronary heart disease and heart attack. The AHA has created a calculator to assess high blood pressure related risks. It takes into account blood pressure levels, age, gender, weight, physical activity and other elements.
Every 40 seconds, someone in the US has a stroke, but many are preventable & treatable. Pledge to reduce your risk. https://t.co/bKIPrr5DOH
— CDC (@CDCgov) May 25, 2016
Latests findings: people with hypertension should worry about sodium consumption
McMaster University researchers have found that diets containing low levels of sodium may not be beneficial among average populations, except for those with high blood pressure. They analyzed data from more than 130,000 participants in 49 countries.
Researchers investigated the relationship of sodium intake with heart-related problems among people with hypertension and people with normal blood pressure. They found out that a low salt intake may be counterproductive
Very low salt consumption was linked to increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, researchers said. Andre Mente, lead author of the study, said that new findings are “extremely important” for patients with hypertension.
Mente explains that patients with high blood pressure should reduce salt intake, but to a not too-low level.
“While our data highlights the importance of reducing high salt intake in people with hypertension, it does not support reducing salt intake to low levels. Findings show that lowering sodium is best targeted at those with hypertension who also consume high sodium diets”
Source: Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center (Press Release)