Hypertension is very common, occurring in over 50% of older people, and is a major risk factor for stroke and ischaemic heart disease.
Drug treatment of hypertension in older people saves lives and prevents unnecessary morbidity.
Treating isolated systolic hypertension also saves lives.
There is strong evidence to support the use of diuretics as first-line agents.
Antihypertensive treatments are most cost-effective when targeted at older patients.
There is evidence of under detection and under treatment of hypertension.
Factors influencing patient adherence with treatment are not well understood and require further research.