Things to know: Older Americans and blood pressure
By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS
Because of its extremely high prevalence, hypertension is a leading cause of preventable death and a contributor to premature disability and institutionalization in seniors.
Reviews by medical experts of a raft of studies showed that the risk of heart attacks, strokes and death can be reduced in adults older than 65 if they’re treated for high blood pressure the same way younger people are — when readings hit 130/80.
Treating high blood pressure in older people can be “challenging” because seniors have other existing health issues, take other medication that could interfere, and have higher rates of frailty.
But three decades of randomized controlled trials “have included large numbers of older persons and in every instance … more intensive treatment has safely reduced the risk of [cardiovascular disease] for persons over age 65, 75 and 80 years,” according to treatment guidelines released in November 2017 by the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology and nine other health organizations.
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