The need to lower systolic blood pressure
- Cite this article as:
- Shrivastava, S. & Kochar, M.S. Current Science Inc (2000) 2: 433. doi:10.1007/s11906-000-0024-0
Systolic hypertension is the most common form of hypertension, especially in individuals aged 60 years or older. Systolic hypertension is a reflection of decreasing compliance of large arteries and is a strong independent risk factor for all cardiovascular diseases. Despite proven benefits of therapy for systolic hypertension, only 25% of patients with this condition are adequately treated to attain target blood pressures. The sixth report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of high blood pressure (JNC VI) recommends the use of diuretics and long-acting dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers as first-line therapy for isolated systolic hypertension. Therapy is also guided by comorbid conditions where certain drugs may have additional benefits. The goal of therapy should be a graded reduction in blood pressure to less than 140/90 mm Hg with lower blood pressure targets in patients with coexistent diabetes or renal failure.