High Blood Pressure in Older Adults

More than half of all persons age 65 have hypertension. In many, only the systolic blood pressure will be elevated. This is often referred to as isolated systolic hypertension. Treating high systolic blood pressure in older patients significantly decreases the risks for stroke, heart attack, and cardiovascular death.

The National High Blood Pressure Education Program Working Group emphasizes that blood pressure should be reduced "slowly and cautiously" in older patients. Lower initial doses of medications should generally be used, and increases in the doses of medications prescribed should likewise be made in smaller increments.

Publication Review By: Jagdish Patel, M.D., F.A.C.C.

Published: 01 Jul 2001

Last Modified: 11 Jul 2013