In the United States, hypertension in the elderly is very common. Studies show that age plays a major role in the development of high blood pressure. Specifically, 75% of elderly patients, 80 years or older, face a significant risk to become hypertensive. More so, at least 60% of the elderly develop Stage 2 hypertension. Research has proven that managing blood pressure amongst this population is extremely difficult.
Treating the elderly for high blood pressure is vital as they are at a greater risk for additional life-threatening diseases, such as coronary heart disease and kidney disease. Also, hypertensive treatments are important to reduce the risks for stroke and cardiovascular events that may increase mortality rates. When an individual reaches at least 60 years old, physicians may discover pseudo-hypertension in a patient.
Pseudo-hypertension is the appearance of high blood pressure in an elderly individual who is not actually hypertensive. It is common that the elderly have compression of the brachial artery in the arm, thereby inducing false high blood pressure readings. Medical healthcare providers must then use a higher cuff pressure to read the blood pressure measurements. Hypertension in elderly requires that the blood pressure is checked in both arms to get a true reading.
As in any other age group, the elderly must practice healthy life-style habits daily to control blood pressure levels. A blood pressure measurement of the elderly typically displays high systolic blood pressure, low diastolic blood pressure and orthostatic hypotension. When there is an excessive drop in blood pressure as a result of standing, which causes dizziness or fainting, it indicates orthostatic hypotention. This is very common amongst this population.
Antihypertensive treatment is very beneficial with hypertension in elderly. As a matter-of-fact, proper treatment along with living a healthy life-style significantly reduces the percentage of strokes, heart failure, cardiovascular damage and especially mortality.
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Published On: September 08, 2008
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