Study: Blood Pressure Medications Help Even the Frailest Elderly People Live Longer

Aug 6, 2020 | Hypertension

A significant portion of Americans have high blood pressure, a medical condition that is known as hypertension. Statistics suggest that roughly 33 percent of Americans have hypertension, and the percentages increase in older segments of the population.

Because so many Americans suffer from hypertension, and hypertension has been shown to increase the risk of death, research is regularly being conducted to help doctors better understand the condition. 

Recent Research on Hypertension

One recent study from Italy attempted to determine if health and mortality outcomes were influenced by how well a patient adhered to their medication regimen. Researchers analyzed approximately 1.2 million Italian seniors who received three or more prescriptions for antihypertensive medications.  

Taking a Look at Adherence

The study looked at how well participants stuck to their medication regimen, labeling adherence from very low to high. Adherence was measured based on the patients refilling their medications in a timely manner at their local pharmacy. The researchers divided study participants into various categories based on their clinical health, ranging from very poor to good. 

A 7 Year Study

Participants were followed for seven years, until death, or emigration.  At the end of the study, the researchers compared death rates based on adherence to hypertensive medications. Perhaps not surprising, those with high adherence (>75% of time covered by prescriptions) exhibited a lower risk of all-cause mortality in each group, the difference decreasing progressively if a patient was of good (44%), medium (43%), poor (40%), and very poor (33%) clinical status at baseline.

In addition, the death rates were lower, but not just in overall terms. The rates for cardiovascular-specific deaths also fell significantly for patients who adhered to prescribed medication.

Caveats to the Research Findings 

The study’s results underscore the importance of medication adherence for patients diagnosed with hypertension. To learn more about the benefits of adhering to hypertension treatment, please visit our page here.

At Veta Health, we empower individuals to take control of their health through behavior-based care programs that support healthy living grounded in clinical context. To learn more about our hypertension care programs, please visit us here.