(HealthDay News) — For patients with grade 1 hypertension, blood pressure-lowering therapy is associated with a reduction in blood pressure and a lower likelihood of stroke and death, according to research published online Dec. 23 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Johan Sundström, M.D., Ph.D., from Uppsala University in Sweden, and colleagues examined whether pharmacologic blood pressure reduction prevents cardiovascular events in patients with grade 1 hypertension. Individual-patient data were included from Blood Pressure Lowering Treatment Trialists’ Collaboration (BPLTTC) and other trials for patients without cardiovascular disease with blood pressures in the grade 1 hypertension range (140 to 159/90 to 99 mm Hg). Participants were randomized to receive an active or control blood pressure-lowering regimen.

The researchers found that the average reduction in blood pressure was about 3.6/2.4 mm Hg. The odds ratios were 0.86 (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.74 to 1.01) for total cardiovascular events; 0.72 (95 percent CI, 0.55 to 0.94) for strokes; 0.91 (95 percent CI, 0.74 to 1.12) for coronary events; 0.80 (95 percent CI, 0.57 to 1.12) for heart failure; 0.75 (95 percent CI, 0.57 to 0.98) for cardiovascular deaths; and 0.78 (95 percent CI, 0.67 to 0.92) for total deaths over five years. In the active groups, withdrawal from treatment due to adverse events was more common.

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“Blood pressure-lowering therapy is likely to prevent stroke and death in patients with uncomplicated grade 1 hypertension,” the authors write.

The BPLTTC received funding from several pharmaceutical companies.


  1. Sundström, J, et al. Ann Intern Med, December 2014; doi:10.7326/M14-0773.