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High blood pressure not well controlled among older men and women

tudy included 5,296 participants contributing 14,458 total examinations over the period studied. High blood pressure was defined as a systolic blood pressure of greater or equal to 140 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure greater than or equal to 90 mm Hg, or taking medication for reducing blood pressure. Normal blood pressure is less than 120 mm Hg systolic and less than 80 mm Hg diastolic.

According to the authors, the data suggest that the poor control rates may be due in part to poor selection of drug classes or from the use of a single drug for therapy. Among all ages studied, 60 percent of patients were treated with only one antihypertensive medication, and only 23 percent of men and 38 percent of women over age 80 were being treated with a diuretic.

Guidelines issued by NHLBI's NHBPEP state that most high blood pressure patients will require two or more medications to get blood pressure down to target levels, and that a diuretic should be one of the medications used. Diuretics have been shown to be more beneficial in lowering blood pressure and protecting against adverse complications of hypertension.


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Contact: NHLBI Communications Office
nhlbi_news@nhlbi.nih.gov
301 496-4236
NIH/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
26-Jul-2005


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