Report of the Canadian Hypertension Society Consensus Conference: 4. Hypertension in the elderly.
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Several knowledge gaps, which made evidence-based guidelines impossible in 1985, have since been filled. There is now unequivocal evidence that treatment of isolated systolic hypertension benefits elderly patients, as does treatment beyond the age of 75 years. Pseudohypertension, although occasionally problematic, is not common and is not a reason to neglect the treatment of elderly patients, including those with isolated systolic hypertension. In general, long-term antihypertensive treatment of the elderly is well tolerated and does not cause important decreases in mental function. Comparative drug studies continue to accumulate; most show no clinically significant general differences between drugs, aside from the somewhat decreased efficacy and tolerability of beta-blockade in elderly patients. As in the young, certain drugs may be preferred in the presence of other conditions--e.g., congestive heart failure or diabetes.
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