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Hypertension Research
Vol. 19 (1996) No. 4 P 281-290



To assess how elderly Japanese hypertensive patients are treated by specialists, we conducted a cross- sectional survey. A total of 1, 163 outpatients aged 50 years or older were studied. Hypertension was diagnosed in 939 of these patients, and 827 were receiving drug therapy. The average blood pressure during therapy was 143±16 / 81±10mmHg. In patients aged 70 years or older, systolic blood pressure during antihypertensive therapy was significantly higher (p<0.01) and diastolic blood pressure was significantly lower (p<0.01) than the corresponding values in those aged 50 to 59 years or 60 to 69 years. The calculated mean blood pressures were similar in the different age groups. The rate of monotherapy in the patients aged 70 years or older was 58.8%, which was significantly higher (p<0.01) than the rates of monotherapy in the other age groups. Calcium channel blockers were prescribed in about 80% of patients, irrespective of age or comorbidity. Of the patients receiving calcium channel blockers, 43.5% were treated with monotherapy. This rate significantly (p<0.01) increased with advancing age. Diastolic blood pressures were significantly lower (p<0.05) in patients with stroke and in those with ischemic heart disease, diabetes mellitus, or dyslipidemia, as compared with patients with no comorbidity. Among patients aged 70 years or older, the difference in systolic blood pressure between those with ischemic heart disease and those with no comorbidity was not significant. Blood pressure in elderly hypertensive patients was reduced to a level similar to that in younger patients. The target blood pressure was influenced by the presence of comorbidity. Furthermore, specialists showed a high preference for the use of calcium channel blockers in the management of hypertension. (Hypertens Res 1996; 19: 281-290)

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