Results of antihypertensive treatment trials in the elderly

Gastone Leonetti, Alberto Zanchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The prevalence of arterial hypertension is age-dependent, and with the prolongation of life expectancy the number of elderly subjects with arterial hypertension is very relevant. Epidemiologic studies have shown that arterial hypertension is a risk factor in elderly patients and therefore the physician must know if the pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic reduction of blood pressure values is associated with a corresponding decrease in systolic-diastolic or isolated systolic hypertension. Clinical trials have shown that the lowering of blood pressure values is commonly associated with a decrease in cardiovascular events. So far, the reduction of blood pressure per se appears more relevant to the cardiovascular benefit than does a particular class of antihypertensive agents. The benefit of antihypertensive treatment has been shown up to the age of 80 years, while there are no clear indications of a benefit in persons older than 80 years. While sufficient data suggest that a diastolic blood pressure between 80 and 90 mm Hg is associated with a clear benefit in elderly patients, the data in support of a systolic reduction below 140 mm Hg require further direct confirmation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-47+57
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Cardiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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