Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Over 80s often over-treated for stroke prevention

Date:
February 26, 2014
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
People in their 80s are often prescribed drugs to ward off a stroke when the risk of a stroke is not that high and the drugs have other side effects, suggest a new medical article. Statins and antihypertensive drugs were the most commonly prescribed cardiovascular drugs in the UK in 2006. And they are widely prescribed to patients in their 80s to ward off stroke. This is despite the fact that the research shows that, by this age, high blood pressure is not a key contributory risk factor, and high cholesterol has little effect on stroke risk, overall.

People in their 80s are often prescribed drugs to ward off a stroke when the risk of a stroke is not that high and the drugs have other side effects, finds a perspective published online in Evidence Based Medicine.

People in this age group are being "over-treated," and doctors need to actively rethink their priorities and beliefs about stroke prevention, argues Dr Kit Byatt of the Department of Geriatric Medicine, The County Hospital in Hereford, UK.

Statins and antihypertensive drugs were the most commonly prescribed cardiovascular drugs in the UK in 2006. And they are widely prescribed to patients in their 80s to ward off stroke.

This is despite the fact that the research shows that, by this age, high blood pressure is not a key contributory risk factor, and high cholesterol has little effect on stroke risk, overall, says Dr Byatt.

He points out that the largest trials of antihypertensive therapy and statins for people in this age group have shown only a marginal reduction in stroke and very modest reductions in other cardiovascular events.

Older patients have diverse views on the relative importance of stroke and death as end points, which differ from clinicians' beliefs, he argues.

The evidence suggests that statins and antihypertensive drugs are greatly over-prescribed in the healthy elderly and are mostly irrelevant in the frail elderly.

Most older patients would probably reject the modest potential benefit conferred by these medicines, in favour of taking fewer drugs every day and not having to put up with their possible side-effects, he suggests.

"The data strongly suggest that we are over-treating many healthy patients aged 80+ regarding stroke prevention," he concludes.

And he questions whether these drugs should ever be used in frail older patients with several underlying conditions

"Should we ever use these medications in frail older patients with multi-morbidity? We need actively to rethink our priorities and beliefs about stroke prevention, actively informing and involving the views of the key person, the patient," he insists.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. K. Byatt. Overenthusiastic stroke risk factor modification in the over-80s: Are we being disingenuous to ourselves, and to our oldest patients? Evidence-Based Medicine, 2014; DOI: 10.1136/eb-2013-101646

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Over 80s often over-treated for stroke prevention." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140226211239.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2014, February 26). Over 80s often over-treated for stroke prevention. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140226211239.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Over 80s often over-treated for stroke prevention." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140226211239.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins