Hypertension in the elderly, should it be treated?
Blood pressure increases with age. In people over the age 65 the frequency of hypertension is about 50%. That does not mean the increased blood pressure in the elderly should be treated as normal. Especially now, when a lot of data has been collected on that topic. In the adults there is a single version of a normal RR, one that does not exceed 140/90 mmHg. Clinical observations of people of advanced age demonstrated, that in situations when blood pressure was above 140/90 mmHg there was a greater incidence of strokes and heart attacks. Often, in elderly patients (> 60 years old) there is only an increased of systolic pressure, while diastolic RR remains normal, i.e. an isolated systolic hypertension. The results of a big international study (SYST-EUR), completed recently, have proven, that treatment of this type of hypertension decreases the number of strokes, heart attacks and deaths – fig. 19, 20. It has been demonstrated that this type of action prevented brain stroke in 6 out of 1000 treated persons within a year