Systolic hypertension in the elderly

  • Edward D. Frohlich
  • Franz H. Messerli
Part of the Developments in Cardiovascular Medicine book series (DICM, volume 63)


The overall problem of hypertension in the aging patient has received increasing attention in recent years. Appreciation of this major concern has increased for several reasons: (1) the elderly segment of most Western industrialized populations (i.e., individuals older than 65 years of age) has more than doubled during this generation to upwards of 10 to 15 percent of the total population [1, 2] and this proportion is still increasing; (2) upwards of 50 percent of this elderly population have either diastolic or isolated systolic hypertension [3, 4]; (3) relatively recent reports demonstrate that the rise of arterial pressure with aging is neither a ‘normal’ nor an innocuous physiological phenomenon [5–10]; (4) reduction of arterial pressure in elderly individuals may be expected to be associated with an overall reduction in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality [11–14]; and (5) the recent emphasis on the feasibility of reducing isolated systolic arterial pressure elevation by pharmacological means [15] has led to a large multicenter study designed to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of its pharmacological treatment.


Diastolic Pressure Systolic Hypertension Total Peripheral Resistance Arterial Compliance Isolate Systolic Hypertension 
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© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Dordrecht. 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward D. Frohlich
  • Franz H. Messerli

There are no affiliations available

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