The World Health Organization has named hypertension the leading risk for death globally in adults. Antihypertensive therapy reduces the risks of major cardiovascular complications. As blood pressure increases with increasing age, frequent screening for hypertension is advisable in older adults. The risk of developing hypertension is about 90% even in normotensive 65 year olds. Until recently, data supporting antihypertensive therapy in the very old had been inconclusive. However, the HYVET trial published in 2008 shows a clear reduction in cardiovascular events and mortality. Based on this study the Canadian Hypertension Education Program recommends treating hypertension regardless of age. Attention should also be given to reducing overall cardiovascular risk.
Key words: hypertension, high blood pressure, older adults, recommendations, HYVET study.