High blood pressure is a major cardiovascular risk factor. The prevalence of hypertension increases with aging.
As a consequence of changes in arterial wall that leads to arterial stiffness, the majority of elderly patients suffer isolated
systolic hypertension. The evidence strongly supports that hypertension in the elderly is associated with an increase in
stroke risk and cardiovascular mortality and morbidity. Several trials have shown the benefits of treating hypertension in
elderly patients. Even in the very old patients, the use of antihypertensive agents such as calcium channel blockers,
thiazide and thiazide-like diuretics, and inhibitors of the renin-angiotensin system reduce the risk of complications in
those patients. However, most patients will need two or more drugs to reach the recommended goals.
Hypertension in the elderly has special conditions that must be assessed in the evaluation of the patient (as
pseudohypertension and white coat hypertension), and issues that may affect the therapeutic choice and the response to
treatment, as comorbidities and polypharmacy.