Barriers to Effective Management of Hypertension in Older Populations

The leading cause of preventible death, not only in our own country, but worldwide, is hypertension. There is substantial evidence from robust trials for management of hypertension in older adults. The prevalence of hypertension seems to  increase with age, and therefore management of hypertension among older individuals through pharmacotherapy is essential to reach optimal health care for older populations. I study was conducted through the Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice to determine how exactly the prevalence of hypertension changes with age. The study also explored evidence regarding current pharmacological management in older adults for hypertension. The evidence from this study was then used to identify barriers that prevent older adults from receiving the best quality of care in the management of their hypertension.

The study found that the number of individuals struggling with hypertension increases significantly with age. At the age of 65 years or younger, 30% of the population has hypertension. But the age of 80 and over, this percentage of individuals with hypertension increased to 70% of the population. With the increase of the prevalence of hypertension with age, there is good evidence for the use of a number of medications to control blood pressures in older population.  However, despite good evidence for pharmacological management of hypertension in older adults, the quality of care available for treatment of hypertension in older adults is suboptimal. System, physician, and patient related barriers prevented older adults from reaching optimal blood pressure control.

J of Pharm Policy and Pract Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice 8.1 (2015): n. pag. Web.

Link to article

This study showed me the importance of open dialogue between patients and pharmacists. A pharmacist could easily prevent the patient-related barrier to the optimal treatment of hypertension in older adults. A pharmacist must make sure that each of his or her patients knows exactly how to adhere to his or her medication regimen. A pharmacist must also be able to advocate for his or her patients by expressing any concerns that they may have to the physician. Communication and a strong patient-pharmacist relationship are key to fixing the under treatment of hypertension in the older population.