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Gerontology. 1998;44(3):123-31.

Relationship between hypertension and renal function and its therapeutic implications in the elderly.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Ruperto-Carola University, Heidelberg, Germany.


The kidney is an important target of hypertension-induced organ damage. Recent long-term observation studies have documented that in individuals, without primary chronic renal disease, a very significant relationship exists between hypertension and impaired renal function, elderly hypertensives having a particularly worse prognosis. The hallmark of hypertensive renal injury is thought to be a progressive increase in intrarenal vascular resistance. The alterations in renal hemodynamics are accentuated in elderly patients with essential hypertension, pointing to a greater vulnerability of the senescent kidney to superimposed injury such as high blood pressure. Treatment of elevated blood pressure in the elderly therefore not only reduces cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, but also reduces the incidence of renal failure as a consequence of hypertension-induced damage.

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