Research Article

Effectiveness of treatment with antihypertensive drugs and trends in mortality from stroke in the community.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985; 291 doi: (Published 28 September 1985) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985;291:857
  1. J Tuomilehto,
  2. A Nissinen,
  3. E Wolf,
  4. J Geboers,
  5. T Piha,
  6. P Puska


    A study was made of the changes in the treatment of hypertension, in the effectiveness of that treatment, and in mortality from cerebrovascular stroke in men and women in two counties in Finland. One of these counties was North Karelia, where a comprehensive cardiovascular programme based in the community had been launched in 1972. Cross sectional surveys in large representative samples of the middle aged populations were carried out in 1972, 1977, and 1982. Average annual mortality from stroke adjusted for age was calculated for the two year periods 1971-2, 1977-8, and 1980-1. The proportion of hypertensive men being effectively treated for their hypertension increased in both areas from 1972 to 1977 and further from 1977 to 1982. Mortality from stroke in middle aged men decreased in both areas during both observation periods. The proportion of hypertensive women being effectively treated greatly increased in both areas from 1972 to 1977. This was associated with a large decline in mortality from stroke. In North Karelia the proportion of women being effectively treated was remarkably high but decreased somewhat between 1977 and 1982; this decrease was associated with an increase in mortality from stroke in the women aged 35-64. These results support the idea that effective antihypertensive treatment in the community is a major determinant of mortality from stroke in both men and women.