Some Benefit to Treating Mild Hypertension to Prevent Stroke, CV Deaths, and Overall Mortality


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Am Fam Physician. 2015 Dec 1;92(11):1020.

Clinical Question

What are the benefits of treating mild hypertension?

Bottom Line

Treating mild hypertension over five years decreases the risk of stroke, cardiovascular (CV) death, and overall mortality in a small proportion of patients. The numbers needed to treat (NNT)—the numbers of patients who need to be treated to prevent one additional outcome from occurring—are below. Pay attention to the confidence intervals (CIs), which tell us the best/worst case possibilities. Also, note that some of these intervals are very large, meaning that we cannot place much confidence in the reported NNT. (Level of Evidence = 1a)


The authors used the literature

POEMs (patient-oriented evidence that matters) are provided by EssentialEvidence Plus, a point-of-care clinical decision support system published by Wiley-Blackwell. For more information, please see http://www.essentialevidenceplus.com. Copyright Wiley-Blackwell. Used with permission.

For definitions of levels of evidence used in POEMs, see http://www.essentialevidenceplus.com/product/ebm_loe.cfm?show=oxford.

To subscribe to a free podcast of these and other POEMs that appear in AFP,search in iTunes for “POEM of the Week” or go to http://goo.gl/3niWXb.

This series is coordinated by Sumi Sexton, MD, Associate Deputy Editor.

A collection of POEMs published in AFP is available at http://www.aafp.org/afp/poems.


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