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Can Fam Physician. 2001 Dec;47:2520-5.

Office management of elderly hypertensive patients. Focusing on cognition and function.

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1
Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To review office management of elderly hypertensive patients and to focus on cognition and function both as ways to stratify who gets treated and as end points for treatment.

QUALITY OF EVIDENCE:

Relevant papers were identified through a MEDLINE search from January 1994 to March 2000, using the MeSH terms hypertension, aged, aged 80 and over, cognition, activities of daily living, therapeutics, hypotension orthostatic, and dementia. Many well conducted randomized controlled trials were found and are included.

MAIN MESSAGE:

Treatment of combined and systolic hypertension up to age 80 is clearly worthwhile; beyond age 85, other factors (chiefly cognitive and functional impairment) mitigate most routine recommendations. Successful treatment is individualized, taking into account comorbid conditions and their effect on cognition and function. Age is useful for thinking about groups, not individuals: as people age, risk of cognitive and functional impairment increases, but even very elderly people (> 85 years) with no impairment should be treated as younger patients are. Elderly people with signs of having a "brain at risk" should be managed with special vigilance.

CONCLUSION:

Good evidence supports treating elderly people, who are otherwise well and are cognitively and functionally intact, when their blood pressure is > 160 mm Hg systolic or > 105 mm Hg diastolic. There is insufficient evidence for carrying out routine recommendations for frail elderly people. Treatment of comorbid illnesses dictates choice of therapeutic agent.

PMID:
11785283
PMCID:
PMC2018477
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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