Hypertension is a leading risk for morbidity and mortality in Canada. The older population is at greater risk from hypertension and has a greater reduction in cardiovascular risk with treatment than young patients. Frequent screening for hypertension is prudent as the estimated risk of developing hypertension is about 90%, even in normotensive 65-year-olds. Systolic blood pressure is a more relevant risk factor than diastolic blood pressure in older patients and is more difficult to treat to target. Most hypertensive patients will have multiple cardiovascular risks that require screening and management to reduce cardiovascular risk optimally. Lifestyle therapy is efficacious. Effective first-line drug therapies that reduce hypertension complications include thiazide-type diuretics, ACE inhibitors, long-acting calcium-channel blockers, and angiotensin-receptor blockers. Most patients require two or more drugs to achieve current blood pressure targets.
Key words: high blood pressure, hypertension, guidelines, recommendations, evidence-based medicine.
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