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Treatment of mild hypertension does not benefit low-risk patients

last modified Nov 26, 2018 02:25 PM

Prof Jonathan Mant and colleagues have identified that medical treatment of people with mild hypertension may not be worthwhile in those who are at low risk of heart attack and stroke.

Published in JAMA Internal Medicine, the research team looked at the routinely collected medical records of more than 38,000 patients in the UK over a period of 15 years. The patients were aged 18-74, had mild hypertension, and had not received any previous treatment for the condition.

They compared patients who went on to be treated with antihypertensive medication to those who were not, and found treatment was not associated with reduced risk of heart attack or stroke.

However, there was evidence that treatment was associated with an increased risk of hospital admissions through adverse events such as hypotension (low blood pressure), fainting or kidney damage.

Professor Mant says, “Given that we found tangible evidence of the potential harm of treating people with mild hypertension, and no evidence of benefit, this study does raise questions over the value of initiating drug treatment in such patients”.

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