Hypertension in the Elderly
The widespread confusion with regard to definition, evaluation, treatment, and prognosis of high blood pressure in the elderly may result from several of the following facts. First, since blood pressure increases with age in the general population, an elevated arterial pressure is felt to represent a normal finding in the elderly. Second, the elderly patients predominantly present with systolic hypertension, and it is felt that only diastolic hypertension increases morbidity and mortality. Third, since perfusion of various vital organs diminishes with aging because of arteriosclerosis, it is felt that an increase in arterial pressure represents a compensatory process to maintain an adequate organ blood supply (requisiteness-hypertension). Finally, no data have been provided to show that hypertension in the elderly is a separate entity that requires a different approach from that commonly used in the young and middle-aged patient.
KeywordsArterial Pressure High Blood Pressure Left Ventricular Hypertrophy Orthostatic Hypotension Plasma Renin Activity
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