Scientists find gradual blood pressure decline 14 years before end of life

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A recent study from the University of Exeter has shed light on the behavior of blood pressure in the elderly, revealing a gradual decline that begins approximately 14 years before the end of life.

This research, led by Professor George Kuchel and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine, provides new insights into blood pressure trends among older adults.

Typically, blood pressure rises from childhood through middle age, but the trajectory for elderly individuals has been less certain.

Previous studies have suggested that blood pressure may drop in older age, potentially due to treatments for hypertension. However, this new study delves deeper into the patterns and implications of this decline.

The researchers analyzed electronic medical records of 46,634 British individuals who died at age 60 or older. This diverse group included both healthy individuals and those with various health conditions such as heart disease and dementia.

The study found that blood pressure declines were most pronounced in patients with dementia, heart failure, significant late-in-life weight loss, and those with a history of high blood pressure.

Interestingly, long-term blood pressure declines were also observed in healthy individuals without these conditions.

One of the key findings is that these declines were not solely attributable to the early deaths of people with high blood pressure, indicating a broader trend across different health statuses.

This discovery emphasizes the need for healthcare professionals to consider the implications of dropping blood pressure in elderly patients.

The research suggests that while it is important to treat high blood pressure in late life, healthcare providers should be attentive to what a decline in blood pressure might signify for an elderly patient.

This nuanced understanding can aid in personalizing treatment approaches to better suit individual health profiles.

Despite these findings, the study does not advocate for discontinuing blood pressure medications in older adults.

Instead, it highlights the importance of ongoing research to uncover the underlying causes of this blood pressure decline. Such insights could inform better management strategies for aging populations.

For those interested in managing blood pressure, it is also important to be aware of common causes of hypertension and the accuracy of current blood pressure measurement methods. Additionally, lifestyle factors such as diet can play a significant role.

Recent studies suggest that consuming black tea may help reduce blood pressure, though it’s essential to consider the potential risks associated with certain high blood pressure medications, which may increase the risk of heart failure.

In summary, this study underscores the complexity of blood pressure dynamics in the elderly and the necessity for tailored medical care. Continued research and a deeper understanding of these trends will be crucial in improving health outcomes for older adults.

If you care about high blood pressure, please read studies that early time-restricted eating could help improve blood pressure, and natural coconut sugar could help reduce blood pressure and artery stiffness.

For more information about blood pressure, please see recent studies about How to eat your way to healthy blood pressure and results showing that Modified traditional Chinese cuisine can lower blood pressure.

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