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Geriatrics. 2006 Dec;61(12):22-8.

Systolic hypertension.

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SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse Preventive Cardiology Center, Syracuse, NY, USA.


Approximately one-third of the adult population has hypertension. Large-scale clinical trials have convincingly demonstrated that the treatment of isolated systolic and systolic/diastolic hypertension reduces rates of total mortality, cardiovascular mortality, and stroke in older adults, yet control of systolic hypertension remains poor. This article reviews systolic blood pressure as a cardiovascular risk factor and discusses effective management of elevated systolic blood pressure. The role of combination therapy is emphasized, focusing on the combination of a calcium-channel blocker and an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor. In addition to blood pressure-lowering efficacy, the combination of these two classes of metabolically neutral agents may offer benefit in terms of tolerability and cognitive function.

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