Elderly Are Undertreated for Hypertension
One of the fastest-growing populationsin the United States, and also one of thegroups at highest risk of heart attack andstroke, is not receiving the proper antihypertensivecare to prevent these events.In a study done by the Northwestern University'sFeinberg School of Medicine, researchersfound that 75% of people aged80 and over have hypertension, but 70%of those people are on only one bloodpressure medication.
The researchers collected data on~5300 participants enrolled in the NationalHeart, Lung, and Blood Institute'sFramingham Heart Study. Whereashypertension and drug treatmentincreased with age, researchers foundthat control rates were sharply lower inolder patients, especially women. Forthose 80 years old and over, only 38% ofmen and 23% of women had control overtheir hypertension. Also, this age grouphad a high rate of major cardiovascularevents, such as heart attack or stroke.During the 6 years of follow-up, 20.3% ofpatients with stage 1 hypertension and24.7% of those with stage 2 hypertensionhad a major cardiovascular event.