The Study on COgnition and Prognosis in the Elderly (SCOPE) was a multinational, randomised, double-blind study to assess the effects of candesartan 8-16 mg daily on cardiovascular events and cognitive function in elderly patients (aged 70-89 years) with mild to moderate hypertension. A total of 4937 patients were randomised to candesartan or placebo with other antihypertensive drugs (mostly diuretics, beta-blockers, and calcium antagonists) added as needed to control blood pressure. Only 16% of the patients in the control group received placebo alone. The mean follow-up was 3.7 years. The aim of this health-related quality of life (HRQL) substudy analysis was to investigate changes in HRQL during antihypertensive treatment, and possible differences in patients receiving candesartan-based or other antihypertensive treatment. Three validated HRQL instruments were used: the Psychological General Well-being (PGWB) Index, the Subjective Symptoms Assessment Profile (SSA-P), and the EuroQoL Health Utility Index (EuroQoL). The HRQL was generally good at baseline and well preserved during follow-up in the presence of substantial blood pressure reductions in both treatment groups. Several of the observed changes in score from baseline to last visit favoured candesartan-based compared to control treatment, particularly the changes in PGWB Anxiety (-0.5 vs -1.0, P = 0.01), PGWB Positive well-being (-0.8 vs -1.1, P = 0.04), SSA-P Cardiac symptoms (0.03 vs 0.10, P = 0.03), and EuroQoL Current health (-3.1 vs -5.3, P = 0.008). This favourable result may be related to the somewhat lower blood pressure associated with candesartan-based treatment. In conclusion, there should be no reason to withhold modern antihypertensive therapy in elderly patients due to concerns for a negative effect on HRQL.

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Journal of Human Hypertension
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Degl'Innocenti, A, Elmfeldt, D, Hofman, A, Lithell, H, Olofsson, S, Skoog, I, … Wiklund, I. (2004). Health-related quality of life during treatment of elderly patients with hypertension: Results from Study on COgnition and Prognosis in the Elderly (SCOPE). Journal of Human Hypertension, 18(4), 239–245. doi:10.1038/sj.jhh.1001657