Antihypertensive treatment changes and related clinical outcomes in older hospitalized patients

Eur J Clin Invest. 2023 Apr;53(4):e13931. doi: 10.1111/eci.13931. Epub 2022 Dec 21.


Background: Hypertension management in older patients represents a challenge, particularly when hospitalized.

Objective: The objective of this study is to investigate the determinants and related outcomes of antihypertensive drug prescription in a cohort of older hospitalized patients.

Methods: A total of 5671 patients from REPOSI (a prospective multicentre observational register of older Italian in-patients from internal medicine or geriatric wards) were considered; 4377 (77.2%) were hypertensive. Minimum treatment (MT) for hypertension was defined according to the 2018 ESC guidelines [an angiotensin-converting-enzyme-inhibitor (ACE-I) or an angiotensin-receptor-blocker (ARB) with a calcium-channel-blocker (CCB) and/or a thiazide diuretic; if >80 years old, an ACE-I or ARB or CCB or thiazide diuretic]. Determinants of MT discontinuation at discharge were assessed. Study outcomes were any cause rehospitalization/all cause death, all-cause death, cardiovascular (CV) hospitalization/death, CV death, non-CV death, evaluated according to the presence of MT at discharge.

Results: Hypertensive patients were older than normotensives, with a more impaired functional status, higher burden of comorbidity and polypharmacy. A total of 2233 patients were on MT at admission, 1766 were on MT at discharge. Discontinuation of MT was associated with the presence of comorbidities (lower odds for diabetes, higher odds for chronic kidney disease and dementia). An adjusted multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that MT for hypertension at discharge was associated with lower risk of all-cause death, all-cause death/hospitalization, CV death, CV death/hospitalization and non-CV death.

Conclusions: Guidelines-suggested MT for hypertension at discharge is associated with a lower risk of adverse clinical outcomes. Nevertheless, changes in antihypertensive treatment still occur in a significant proportion of older hospitalized patients.

Keywords: antihypertensive drugs; cardiovascular events; hypertension; older patients; survival.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Angiotensins / therapeutic use
  • Antihypertensive Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hypertension* / drug therapy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sodium Chloride Symporter Inhibitors / adverse effects


  • Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Angiotensins
  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Sodium Chloride Symporter Inhibitors

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