How to design a hypertension treatment trial that informs care of older people with frailty: a survey of clinicians in Ireland and the UK.
Veenhuizen M., Todd O., Anand A., Whiteley W.
IntroductionAt all ages, randomised trials demonstrate lower mortality and cardiovascular disease incidence with blood pressure (BP) lowering. However, this may not generalise to older people with frailty. We aimed to determine the acceptability to clinicians of key aspects of trial designs using different BP targets and strategies to better manage hypertension in the context of frailty.MethodsWe conducted a multinational survey of clinicians managing hypertension in older people, distributed using an online survey link amongst professional societies and social networks. Questions described case histories of patients who were frail with different systolic blood pressures (SBP), treatment target, strategy and target trial population.ResultsIn total, 114 responses were received (48 primary care, 66 secondary care). A majority would consider recruiting patients to a trial of relaxing treatment in those whose SBP 150 mm Hg. Respondents elected to intensify treatment by: choosing the next step by NICE guidelines, adding a new treatment agent at full dose, or adding two agents at half dose.ConclusionA majority of clinicians surveyed would recruit older people to a trial intensifying treatment where SBP is more than 150 mm Hg and where patients have high cardiovascular risk or to a trial relaxing treatment where the SBP is below 130 mm Hg and where the patient has frailty.