For the first time, clinicians have guidelines on the prevention and treatment of hypertension specifically in individuals aged 65 years or older. The guidance, released in April, comes from an expert panel convened by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association (Aronow WS et al. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2011;57:2037-2114).
Although hypertension is prevalent in this older population, found in 64% of men and 78% of women, control is far less common, said Wilbert S. Aronow, MD, clinical professor of medicine at New York Medical College/Westchester Medical Center and a cochair of the expert panel. “If you take a population age 70 or older, one-third of men and one-fourth of women are adequately treated,” Aronow said. “And many clinicians are still unwilling to treat patients with hypertension; they believe it will increase mortality.”