Treating high blood pressure in the elderly helps prolong life

MedPage Today reports, “Older patients with isolated systolic hypertension gained an extra day of life expectancy for every month of treatment with diuretic-based stepped care, according to long-term follow-up of a randomized trial” published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Investigators found that “patients randomized to chlorthalidone (a diuretic or “fluid pill”) for 4.5 years had a 105-day improvement in all-cause mortality and a 158-day gain in freedom from cardiovascular death compared with placebo treatment.”

According to HeartWire, the investigators wrote that the research “is a strong message that may result in increased patient adherence to drug therapy and decrease the degree of therapeutic inertia by healthcare providers.”

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