The Pharmacological Treatment of Arterial Hypertension in Frail, Older Patients — a Systematic Review

Creators: Mühlbauer, Viktoria and Dallmeier, Dhayana and Brefka, Simone and Bollig, Claudia and Voigt-Radloff, Sebastian and Denkinger, Michael
Title: The Pharmacological Treatment of Arterial Hypertension in Frail, Older Patients — a Systematic Review
Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Deutsches Ärzteblatt international
Page Range: pp. 23-30
Date: 2019
Divisions: Gesundheitsmanagement
Abstract: BACKGROUND: It is debated whether the treatment goals and decision-making algorithms for elderly patients with hypertension should be the same as those for younger patients. The American and European guidelines leave decisions about antihypertensive treatment in frail, institutionalized patients up to the treating physician. We therefore systematically searched the literature for publications on the phamacotherapy of arterial hypertension in frail patients. METHODS: The MEDLINE, Embase, and Central databases were systematically searched for randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) and non-randomized studies, including observational studies, on the pharmacotherapy of arterial hypertension in elderly patients since the introduction of the concept of frailty, published over the period 1992-2017. RESULTS: Out of 19 282 citations for randomized, controlled trials and 5659 for non-randomized trials and observational studies, four RCTs and three observational studies were included in the further analysis. The included RCTs showed a trend to- wards a benefit from pharmacotherapy of hypertension in frail patients with respect to mortality, cardiovascular disease, functional status, and quality of life. On the other hand, some of the observational studies indicated a lower rate of falls and lower mortality among patients who received no antihypertensive treatment. CONCLUSION: In view of the conflicting findings of RCTs and non-randomized studies, the lower representation of frail subjects in RCTs, and the high risk of bias in non- randomized studies, the findings of the studies included in this review do not enable the formulation of any strictly evidence-based treatment recommendations. As a rule of thumb, the authors propose that a target systolic blood pressure of <150 mmHg should be aimed at in patients whose gait speed is less than 0.8 m/s, while a target range of 130-139 mmHg can be set for patients over age 80 who are no more than mildly frail.
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Mühlbauer, Viktoria and Dallmeier, Dhayana and Brefka, Simone and Bollig, Claudia and Voigt-Radloff, Sebastian and Denkinger, Michael (2019) The Pharmacological Treatment of Arterial Hypertension in Frail, Older Patients — a Systematic Review. Deutsches Ärzteblatt international, 116 (3). pp. 23-30.

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