The first morbidity/mortality
trial to answer the questions
of antihypertensive treatment
benefits in very elderly hypertensives
General Information Healthcare Professionals Virtual Press Office
General Information

   What is hypertension?

   Ageing, hypertension and

   The HYVET study
Ageing, hypertension and stroke

The "aging process" is known to cause specific cardiovascular changes that impair heart and blood vessel function. These changes lead not only to reduced physical and mental ability, but getting older is also a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

The cardiovascular aging process places even a healthy person, meaning someone without any diagnosed medical condition, at a markedly higher risk for getting cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension. Blood pressure rises with age, so that hypertension occurs in more than two thirds of individuals aged 65 and over when blood pressure is measured on one occasion. Treatment is considered when blood pressure is raised on subsequent occasions.1 The higher your blood pressure the greater your risk of developing narrowed arteries which can lead to heart problems, kidney disease, and stroke.

A stroke is a sudden loss of brain function. It is caused by the interruption of flow of blood to the brain (ischemic stroke) or the rupture of blood vessels in the brain (hemorrhagic stroke). The interruption of blood flow or the rupture of blood vessels causes brain cells (neurons) in the affected area to die. The effects of a stroke depend on where the brain was injured, as well as how much damage occurred. A stroke can impact on any number of areas including the ability to move, see, remember, speak, reason, and read and write.

1. The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee (JNC) on the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure.
Chobanian AV, Bakris GL, Black HR et al. JAMA 2003; 289(19): 2560-2572.
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