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Elderly Women Remain At Risk From Hypertension

Elderly women, especially those above the age of 80yrs, may remain at a higher risk from hypertension //and their condition may remain undetected for long as well. The report, which was published in the recent issue of JAMA, said that about 75% of the participants of the survey conducted in the concerned age group have hypertension.

The research, which was based on data from the National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute’s long-standing Framingham Heart Study, also found that older hypertensive women are especially at risk for having poorly controlled hypertension.

Risks for cardiovascular disease also are substantial in this population, indicating the need for greater efforts at safe, effective risk reduction among the oldest hypertensive persons. Among men and women study participants with the highest levels of blood pressure at age 80 or older, 25 percent had a major cardiovascular event (heart attack, stroke or hospitalization for heart failure) within six years’ follow-up.

Despite numerous clinical studies showing the benefits of lowering blood pressure in older hypertensive persons, data suggest that rates of treatment and control are less than optimal and those risks for cardiovascular disease are substantial, reports the researcher Lloyd-Jones.

Lloyd-Jones and co-researchers Jane C. Evans and Daniel Levy, M.D., from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute analyzed data from almost 5,300 Framingham Study participants (2,300 men and approximately 3,000 women).

Among the oldest hypertensive individuals, only 38 percent of men and 23 percent of women had their blood pressure controlled to recommended levels of less than 140 systolic over less than 90 diastolic.

It appeared that poor control was due in part to lack of use of combination drug therapy and, perhaps, to poor selection of drug classes. Despite abundant evidence suggesting that thiazide diuretics are the most cost-effective drugs f
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