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Blood Press Suppl. 1994;4:45-8.

Treatment of hypertension in the elderly with special reference to urapidil.

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  • University of Uppsala Department of Geriatrics, Sweden.


During 1991 and 1992 three major intervention trials were published that dealt with the value of antihypertensive treatment in the elderly. The three studies were the American Systolic Hypertension in the Elderly Program (SHEP), the Swedish Trial in Old Patients with Hypertension (STOP-Hypertension) and the British Medical Research Council Trial of Treatment of Hypertension in Older Adults. (MRC trial.) The three trials all compared active antihypertensive treatment, mainly consisting of diuretics or beta-adrenoceptor blocking agents or the two in combination, with placebo. Two of the trials were double-blind (SHEP and STOP) whereas the MRC trial was single-blind. All three were multicenter and prospective, and patients were randomized to either of the treatment modalities. One of the trials (SHEP) was specifically designed to evaluate antihypertensive treatment in patients with isolated systolic hypertension. The SHEP, STOP and MRC trials all showed that treatment of hypertension in the elderly reduces the risk of stroke and cardiovascular events. In the STOP-Hypertension trial, which included the oldest patients with the most severe hypertension, total mortality was reduced by 43%. It could be argued that novel antihypertensive compounds offer equal or better results than the ones obtained with beta blockers and/or diuretics. Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and calcium antagonists are currently being compared with diuretics and beta-blockers in the STOP-Hypertension-2 study which prospectively evaluates morbidity and mortality in hypertensive patients aged 70-84 years.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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