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Reducing Complications of High Blood Pressure in Older Adults

About 75 percent of people aged 75 and older have high blood pressure, which can increase the risk of heart attack, heart failure and stroke. A recent study examined what the best target blood pressure is to reduce the risks of these complications in older adults.

Researchers from Wake Forest School of Medicine tested whether a systolic blood pressure target of 120 millimeters of mercury was more effective than 140 millimeters for reducing the risk of heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and death.

They enrolled more than 2,600 older adults (75 years and older), all of whom were living in their own homes. Study participants were randomly assigned to either a systolic blood pressure target of less than 120 or less than 140. The results found that group assigned to the lower blood pressure target developed fewer cardiovascular complications related to high blood pressure.