In a recent Australian prospective cohort study, the relationship between multiple antihypertensive use and mortality, and the effects of dementia and frailty on this relationship, have been examined in residents with diagnosed hypertension. 239 residents were included (mean age 88.1 ± 6.3 years; 79% female), with 70 (29.3%) using one antihypertensive and 169 (70.7%) using multiple antihypertensives. Residents using multiple antihypertensives had higher crude incidence rates for death (251/1000 person-years compared to 173/1000 person-years in residents using one antihypertensive) and an increased risk of mortality (HR 1.40, 95%CI 1.03–1.92). This risk was particularly significant in residents diagnosed with dementia (HR 1.91, 95%CI 1.20–3.04) and those who were most frail (HR 2.52, 95%CI 1.13–5.64). The study therefore suggests that benefits and risks of multiple antihypertensive therapy in this group of patients need more careful evaluation. Read the original research here.

Contributed by Australian Medication Safety Services Associate – Isabella Singh