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Ther Umsch. 2012 May;69(5):299-304. doi: 10.1024/0040-5930/a000289.

[Hypertension in the elderly].

[Article in German]

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Geriatrie Universität Bern, Inselspital, Universitätsspital Bern.


Many aspects of hypertension diagnosis and treatment are similar in young and old patients. However, some differences exist. Due to the increasing vascular stiffness most elderly patients have isolated systolic hypertension and its prevalence in the population is high. Blood pressure should be measured in the sitting position and also with the patient standing to exclude orthostatic hypotension, a frequent problem in elderly patients. Pseudohypertension, a source of inadequate measurements in elderly patients, should be recognized. In comparison to other health problems there is good scientific evidence for antihypertensive treatment in elderly patients. As treatment does not only improve survival, but also reduces cardiovascular events such as non-fatal stroke or myocardial infarction, antihypertensive therapy is an important measure to prevent functional decline and disability.

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