A new study revealed important information on what factors influence blood pressure. The findings may lead to new treatments for elderly people suffering from hypertension. The project is called SPRINT and scientists are highly optimistic of the trial results.
The study focused on people with age higher than 50. Elder people experience extremely dangerous medical complications triggered by high blood pressure. The new treatment directly aimed at this medical condition will hopefully contribute to a better life quality in elders.
The 2636 participants were separated into two groups. The first group had a mmHG of 140, which is the standard level. The second group had their mmHG dropped to 120. The participants had to fill up a questionnaire, to do a physical exercise. Blood pressure was measured three times. Then both groups were put on medication.
The results showed that the group who had a mmHG of 120 was three times less likely to experience ailments specifics to high blood pressure, such as strokes or heart attacks. More importantly, none of the subjects reported any side effects related to the treatment.
“These findings have substantial implications for the future of high blood pressure therapy in older adults because of its high prevalence in this age group, and because of the devastating consequences high blood pressure complications can have on the independent function of older people.”, said Dr. Jeff Williamson, one of the authors of the study.
The study may change the medical practice that is currently implemented in hospitals. Even people that have aged over 75 will benefit from this treatment as the study was specifically focused on lowering blood pressure in older age.
Another advantage of the treatment is the fact that the medication used is generic. The drugs which proved to have positive effects on blood pressure are, in fact, not that expensive. The low cost of the medication will help a lot more people to have access to the treatment.
Statistics say that one in three adults is suffering from hypertension. High blood pressure is one of the main factors leading to heart disease, which is the principal mortality factor in the United States with more than 600,000 people dying annually from the condition.
Doctors agree that the study will have tremendous positive implications regarding life quality and life expectancy. Some of them even think that there might be a need to lower the standard for blood pressure, as 140 now seems to be much too high.
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