Introduction: The aim of this study was to explore the prevalence and management of hypertension among older adults on admission to hospital and to assess the choice of antihypertensive pharmacotherapy in light of relevant comorbid conditions using the national treatment guideline. Materials and methods: A retrospective cross sectional study of 503 patients aged 65 years or older admitted to a large metropolitan teaching hospital in Sydney Australia was conducted. The main outcome measures were prevalence of hypertension, blood pressure (BP) control, antihypertensive medication use and the appropriateness of antihypertensive medications. Results: Sixty-nine percent (n = 347) of the study population had a documented diagnosis of hypertension and of these, approximately one third were at target BP levels on admission to hospital. Some concerns regarding choice of antihypertensive noted with 51% of those with comorbid diabetes and 30% of those with comorbid heart failure receiving a potentially inappropriate antihypertensive agent. Conclusions: Despite the use of antihypertensive pharmacotherapy, many older adults do not have optimal BP control and are not reaching target BP levels. New strategies to improve blood pressure control in older populations especially targeting women, those with a past history of myocardial infarction and those on multiple antihypertensive medications are needed.
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- Acute care
- Antihypertensive medication
- Drug utilization
- Older adults