Older patients are more likely to have hypertension and isolated systolic hypertension, to have target organ damage and clinical cardiovascular disease, and to develop myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, stroke, congestive heart failure, and peripheral arterial disease. Yet, considering the increased risk of cardiovascular death, older patients are less likely to have hypertension controlled. Antihypertensive drug therapy reduces coronary events, stroke, heart failure, and cardiovascular death in older patients. The goal of treatment of hypertension in older patients is to reduce the blood pressure to less than 140/90mmHg and to ≤130/80mmHg in older patients with diabetes mellitus or chronic renal insufficiency. Diuretics should be used as initial drug therapy in older patients with hypertension and no associated medical conditions. The selection of antihypertensive drug therapy in older patients depends on the associated medical conditions.
Key words: hypertension, diuretics, beta-blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, calcium channel blockers.
Chronic stable angina is a common condition in older patients. Although lifestyle modifications such as weight loss, smoking cessation, and risk factor control remain fundamental components of the management strategy, pharmacological agents are necessary to prevent and control anginal symptoms. Sublingual nitroglycerin (either as tablets or a spray) is the most effective agent to terminate an episode of anginal pain. Anginal frequency and exercise tolerance are improved with beta-adrenergic blockers, calcium channel blockers, and long-acting nitrate preparations. A strategy for the optimal use of these agents both alone and in combination is discussed.
Key words: angina pectoris, nitrates, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers.
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