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Am J Hypertens. 2007 Feb;20(2):134-9.

Longitudinal analysis of blood pressure trends and prognosis in isolated systolic hypertension in elderly individuals.

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Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Course of Medical and Dental Sciences, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Nagasaki University, Nagasaki, Japan.



With age, a larger proportion of elderly individuals have isolated systolic hypertension (ISH). However, because of a lack of longitudinal studies, much less is known about the incidence and prognosis of ISH in elderly individuals. The aims of this study were to document blood pressure (BP) trends in development of ISH in elderly individuals, and to investigate the incidence and prognosis for those with ISH.


Retrograde longitudinal analysis was conducted on 3284 subjects during 1958 to 1984. The presence of ISH in elderly individuals was defined as systolic BP of >or=160 and diastolic BP of <or=90 mm Hg in subjects aged >or=60 years. Prognosis was subsequently investigated until 2002 and compared with that for age- and sex-matched non-ISH control subjects.


Selected as ISH in elderly individuals were 185 subjects. Three subtypes were documented by BP trends: 71 subjects with "de novo" ISH, 68 with "burned out" ISH, and 46 subjects with "unclassifiable" ISH. Incidence of ISH increased with age. Mean onset age of ISH was 71.0 years. Subsequent follow-up revealed that the subjects with ISH lived long lives: 83.2% of ISH subjects and 76.2% of control subjects lived to be >80 years old. However, 58.9% of ISH subjects were found to have cardiovascular disease during the follow-up, showing a higher prevalence than among control subjects (42.2%, P = .0013). In more than 40% of subjects with ISH, cardiovascular disease occurred at >or=80 years of age.


In this study, the incidence of ISH increased with age. Persons with ISH have good prognoses in terms of longevity, but many have late-onset cardiovascular complications, suggesting the importance of BP control even in very elderly individuals.

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