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Cutting blood pressure reduces stroke risk in over 80s

By Christian Duffin

Reducing blood pressure among people aged 80 and over can lower the incidence of strokes and reduce overall mortality, researchers have claimed.

A study of almost 4,000 people dating to 2001 led by Imperial College London has established for the first time that a link exists.

Patients with high blood pressure from across the world were given either the placebo or a low dose diuretic (indapamide 1.5mg SR), and an ACE inhibitor (perindopril) in tablet form once a day.

The trial was halted earlier than expected because researchers had already established results they were looking for.

Principal investigator Professor Chris Bulpitt, an emeritus professor at Imperial College London, said: "It was not clear prior to our study whether the over-80s would benefit from blood pressure lowering medication in the same way as younger people. Our results are great news for people in this age group because they suggest that where they have high blood pressure, such treatment can cut their chances of dying as well as having a stroke."

The British Heart Foundation part-funded the research.

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