Treating hypertension in older Americans

( — Millions of Americans have high-blood pressure. Hypertension treatments are being tailored to older Americans.

As we get older, we’re more likely to develop high blood pressure. The majority of people over age 65 have high blood pressure.

Dr. Bruce Naughton said, “It’s the number one health problem in people over age 65. It’s the number one reason a person has disability or loss of function.”

But we don’t have researched-based guidelines for treating hypertension in the elderly, so this week, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association published their consensus opinion about how old people should be treated. From the few trials that have been done, we know treatment works.

“There was a 30 percent reduction in mortality, there was a 35 percent reduction in strokes, there was a dramatic decrease in the number of people who had symptomatic heart failure as well as 50 percent,” said Dr. Naughton.

Dr. Naughton is chief of geriatrics for UB and Kaleida Health. He’s seen those benefits in many of his own patients.


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Treating hypertension in older Americans:

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