Anti-Hypertensive Treatment in the Older Patient
There are few areas in modern clinical practice that have changed more radically in the last ten years than the management of hypertension. In the 1950s the drugs with which hypertension was being treated were both potent and had severe and very toxic side effects and in these circumstances it was convenient to label the hypertension associated with older patients as ‘essential hypertension’ or ‘benign hypertension’. These two terms allowed the physician to counsel the family that no treatment was indicated. Despite the ‘essential’ nature of this hypertension or the ‘benign’ attributes of this hypertension many elderly people died from stroke disease and from cardiac failure and it was inevitable that in the ensuing decades as the management of hypertension became progressively improved with the quality of drug therapy available that physicians in Geriatric Medicine who were addressing the problem of the management of the elderly hypertensive patients should think again as to whether the terms ‘benign’ and ‘essential’ were entirely justified.
KeywordsCholesterol Depression Urea Creatinine Acid Value
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