Hypertension in the elderly
There is a high prevalence of hypertension in the elderly, as evidenced by clinical and health behavioral policies. Still, there are uncertainties on the treatment of hypertension, especially treatment of the very elderly. These considerations have largely been ignored in clinical trials due to concern regarding contamination by other pathologies that are difficult to frame and manage.
We performed an effective and ample literature review and provided reflections on the Consensus Conference ACCF/AHA 2011 on the principle types of hypertension found in the elderly. We also considered the associated principle pathologies for various treatments and related organs.
Even if the goal of treatment of elevated blood pressure in the elderly is same as in younger population, it is no longer certain that a target systolic blood pressure (SBP) <140 mmHg should be persistently reached in the very elderly. It is important to note that for all studies these values have never been reached. In the treatment of isolated systolic hypertension (ISH) the preferred target is a SBP >160 mmHg. Treating hypertension in the elderly and very elderly reduces the risk of stroke and heart failure, though the evidence is inconclusive for all-cause mortality.
Hypertension in the elderly is very common and needs to be treated with criteria that consider the patient's age, comorbidities, lifestyle and adherence. Above all, in the very elderly, therapeutic treatment should be personalized according to the above criteria. Where possible pharmaceutical therapy should be limited at the preference of healthy lifestyle changes (physical activity, diet, etc.).
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Copyright (c) 2012 Giuliano Pinna, Claudio Pascale, Micaela La Regina, Francesco Orlandini
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