Washington: Hypertension treatment is associated with lower death rate and gain in life expectancy, a new study has found.John B. Kostis and his colleagues from the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, N.J., conducted a study to examine the effect of blood pressure (BP) lowering on long-term outcomes like life expectancy.They obtained long-term mortality data for participants in the Systolic Hypertension in the Elderly Program (SHEP) trial, which was a randomised, placebo-controlled, clinical trial designed to assess the effect of antihypertensive drug treatment (chlorthalidone) in reducing the risk of stroke in patients with isolated systolic hypertension.Recruitment for SHEP was between March 1985 and January 1988. After the end of a 4.5-year randomised phase of the SHEP trial, all participants were advised to receive active therapy.The time interval between the beginning of recruitment and the ascertainment of death (December 2006) was approximately 22 years (21 years 10 months).Of the 4,736 participants enrolled in the SHEP trial, 2,365 (49.9 percent) were randomised to active treatment therapy and 2,371 (50.1 percent) were randomised to placebo. The average age of participants was 72 years, 57 percent were women, and 14 percent were black.At the end of follow-up, 2,851 of the 4,736 randomised patients (60.2 percent) had died, with 1,416 deaths (59.9 percent) in the active treatment group and 1,435 deaths (60.5 percent) in the placebo group.
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