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Heart Views. 2019 Jan-Mar;20(1):11-16. doi: 10.4103/HEARTVIEWS.HEARTVIEWS_28_18.

Hypertension Management in the Elderly: What is the Optimal Target Blood Pressure?

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Department of Geriatric Medicine and Internal Medicine, Hurley Medical Center, Michigan State University, Flint, MI, USA.
Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.


Hypertension is a common disease in the elderly associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Due to the complexity of this population, the optimal target of blood pressure (BP) control is still controversial. In this article, we conduct a literature review of trials published in English in the last 10 years which were specifically designed to study the efficacy and safety of various BP targets in patients who are 70 years or older. Using these criteria, we found that the benefits in the positive studies were demonstrated even with a minimal BP control (systolic BP [SBP] <150 mmHg) and continued to be reported for a SBP <120 mmHg. On the other hand, keeping SBP <140 mmHg seemed to be safely achieved in elderly patients. Although the safety of lowering SBP to <120 mmHg is debated, Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial study has shown no increased risk of falls, fractures, or kidney failure in elderly patients with SBP lower than this threshold. While the recent guidelines recommended to keep BP <130/80 mmHg in the elderly, more individualized approach should be considered to achieve this goal in order to avoid undesirable complications. Furthermore, further studies are required to evaluate BP target in very old patients or those with multiple comorbidities.


Blood pressure; cardiovascular; elderly; geriatrics; hypertension; stroke

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