Patients with prehypertension who take blood pressure—lowering therapy have a highly statistically significant 22% reduced risk for stroke, a new meta-analysis shows.
The reduction in stroke risk observed in the study was "clear-cut," "clinically meaningful," and evident among all classes of antihypertensive drugs studied, said lead author Ilke Sipahi, MD, assistant professor of medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, and associate director, Heart Failure and Transplantation at University Hospitals Case Medical Center.
"We saw it with [angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE)] inhibitors, we saw it with calcium channel blockers, and we saw it with angiotensive-receptor blockers [ARBs] to a certain extent," Dr. Sipahi told Medscape Medical News. "So this is true finding: the risk is truly reduced."
However, the study results should not change current recommendations regarding blood pressure—lowering therapy, said Dr. Sipahi. "It's not realistic to go ahead and recommend antihypertensive therapy to every single patient with prehypertensive blood pressure levels, but I think our findings have to be discussed extensively within the medical community.
The study was published online December 8 in Stroke, the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Source: Medscape Medical News