(HealthDay News) – The administration of blood pressure-lowering medication to people in a prehypertensive range appears to significantly reduce their risk of stroke, according to research published online Dec. 8 in Stroke.
To assess whether a reduction in blood pressure in patients within the prehypertensive range reduced the incidence of stroke, Ilke Sipahi, MD, of the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, and colleagues reviewed 16 trials comparing an antihypertensive drug to placebo in 70,664 subjects with prehypertensive baseline blood pressure levels.
The meta-analysis revealed a 22% reduction in the risk of stroke in those subjects assigned to medication compared to those who took a placebo. It was determined that, to prevent one stroke, 169 patients needed to be treated with a blood pressure-lowering medication for an average of 4.3 years.
“In this meta-analysis, we observed a statistically significant 22% reduction in incident strokes with antihypertensive treatment in cohorts with average blood pressure levels within the prehypertensive range, as compared with placebo. This reduction was apparent even in trials where the average baseline blood pressure was <130/85mmHg. The reduction in stroke was evident among all the drug classes studied,” the authors write. “These findings can have important clinical implications.”