1996 Volume 33 Issue 1 Pages 27-32
The purpose of the study was to elucidate the effects of antihypertensive drugs on the hemodynamics in elderly hypertensive patients. Forty-two elderly hypertensives (mean 72±5 years) were given either ACE inhibitors (A group: perindopril in 10 and captopril in 4 cases), beta blockers (B group: arotinolol in 15 cases) or calcium antagonists (C group: nifedipine in 3 and nitrendipine in 10 cases) for 8-12 weeks. The responses to handgrip and mental arithmetic stress and cardiac functional changes were determined by echocardiography before and after the medications. The decrease in blood pressure at rest and on the stress tests was similar among the three groups, though the hemodynamic responses to the stress tests showed some differences. In the A group, no hemodynamic changes were seen either at rest or on the stress tests after the medication. In the B group, the heart rate and the cardiac output were decreased at rest, and the increase of them on the stress tests were diminished after the medication. On the contrary, the heart rate and the cardiac output were increased, and showed exaggerated responses on the stress tests in the C group. In conclusion, in antihypertensive treatment of elderly hypertensive patients it is important to consider the effects of the antihypertensive drugs on the hemodynamics, although the comparable decrease in blood pressure is expected.