Reducing hypertension in the elderly leads to a significant reduction in the incidence of stroke

(Prague, 27 June 2002) Results from the SCOPE* study, examining the effect of antihypertensive treatment in elderly patients with mild hypertension, are presented for the first time today at the joint meeting of the International Society of Hypertension and the European Society of Hypertension, Prague.

These results show a significant 28% risk reduction (p=0.041) in non-fatal strokes in elderly people with mild hypertension an often untreated group when treated with the AT1-receptor blocker Atacand (candesartan cilexetil), compared to the control group.

SCOPE also reported a non-significant trend to reduced risk (11% risk reduction; p= 0.19) in the Atacand treatment group, of major CV events; defined as a combined endpoint of cardiovascular death, non-fatal myocardial infarction and non-fatal stroke. Lowering blood pressure was associated with maintained cognitive function, as measured by the MMSE (Mini Mental State Examination). There was no significant difference in the risk of heart attacks or cardiovascular death between treatment groups.

"SCOPE is a unique study," explains Professor Lennart Hansson, co-chair of the SCOPE Steering Committee. "It shows for the first time that treating mild hypertension in elderly people may have benefits on two counts. Reducing blood pressure with Atacand offers real clinical benefits by significantly cutting people's risk of a non-fatal stroke."

"Importantly and perhaps contrary to current beliefs, SCOPE also shows that reducing blood pressure does not increase the risk of cognitive decline or the development of dementia in elderly people", continues Professor Hans Lithell. "These results have important implications for how we currently view and treat elderly patients with mild hypertension."

Interestingly, in addition to the positive effect on stroke, Atacand also demonstrated a beneficial trend in onset of new diabetes (20% risk reduction ; p=0.083).

Hypertension, or high

Contact: Ross Wilkie

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