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Isolated Systolic Hypertension: An Update After SPRINT

Chirag Bavishi, Sangita Goel, Franz H Messerli
American Journal of Medicine 2016, 129 (12): 1251-1258
Isolated systolic hypertension is the most common hemodynamic form of hypertension in the elderly. With a rapidly aging population, the prevalence of hypertension, particularly isolated systolic hypertension, is expected to increase substantially. This phenomenon of increasing systolic pressure in the elderly is believed to be secondary to pathophysiological changes of aging as well as modifiable risk factors. Isolated systolic hypertension is associated with substantial mortality and morbidity, particularly of cerebrovascular disease. It is a rapidly growing public health concern and its management continues to remain a challenge to practicing physicians. Recent studies like the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) and Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation (HOPE)-3 have implications for antihypertensive therapy in general and for the management of isolated systolic hypertension in particular. In this article we will review: 1) epidemiology and pathophysiologic mechanisms, 2) impact of isolated systolic hypertension on cardiovascular outcomes, 3) optimal management strategies, and 4) systolic blood pressure goals in the light of SPRINT and HOPE 3 trials.


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