Blood Pressure-Lowering Therapy Reduces Stroke, Death Risk

HealthDay News — Blood pressure-lowering therapy in patients with grade 1 hypertension is associated with a drop in blood pressure and a lower risk of stroke and death, according to research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Johan Sundström, MD, PhD, from Uppsala University in Sweden, and colleagues examined whether pharmacologic blood pressure reduction prevents cardiovascular events in patients with grade 1 hypertension. Individual-patient data were included from Blood Pressure Lowering Treatment Trialists’ Collaboration (BPLTTC) and other trials for patients without cardiovascular disease with blood pressures in the grade 1 hypertension range (140 to 159/90 to 99 mm Hg). Participants were randomized to receive an active or control blood pressure-lowering regimen.

The researchers found that the average reduction in blood pressure was about 3.6/2.4 mm Hg. The odds ratios were 0.86 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.74 to 1.01) for total cardiovascular events; 0.72 (95% CI, 0.55 to 0.94) for strokes; 0.91 (95% CI, 0.74 to 1.12) for coronary events; 0.80 (95% CI, 0.57 to 1.12) for heart failure; 0.75 (95% CI, 0.57 to 0.98) for cardiovascular deaths; and 0.78 (95% CI, 0.67 to 0.92) for total deaths over five years. In the active groups, withdrawal from treatment due to adverse events was more common.

“Blood pressure-lowering therapy is likely to prevent stroke and death in patients with uncomplicated grade 1 hypertension,” the authors write.

The BPLTTC received funding from several pharmaceutical companies.


  1. Sundström J et al. Ann Intern Med. 2014; doi:10.7326/M14-0773.