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August 13, 1982

Antihypertensive Medication in the Elderly-Reply

JAMA. 1982;248(6):647. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330060015015

In Reply.—  The myth that antihypertensive medications are not tolerated well by elderly patients arises from isolated, anecdotal case reports and has not been substantiated by large well-controlled trials.There were 101 patients aged 60 years or older (19 were aged 70 years or older) in the actively treated group (diuretic and deserpidine) in the Hypertension-Stroke Cooperative Study (JAMA 1974;229:409-418), and all had had a previous stroke. The Veterans Administration Cooperative Study included 38 men aged 60 to 75 years in the group that was given active treatment.1 They were treated with diuretic, reserpine, and hydralazine if needed. At the time of the 1978 report of the European Working Party on High Blood Pressure in the Elderly, there were 179 patients older than 60 years receiving active drug treatment (diuretic plus methyldopa if needed).2 In the Hypertension Detection and Follow-up Program study, there were 1,172 volunteers aged 60