Less hypertension expected in elderly but more diabetes

THE majority of Australian women in their 80s have hypertension but the prevalence in the next generation of elderly women may be lower, data from a longitudinal study suggests.

The latest report on the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health from the University of Newcastle and University of Queensland detailed the health of women born between 1921 and 1926, the oldest cohort in the study.

Over 12,000 women in this cohort were surveyed in 1996, with more than 5000 completing the latest survey in 2008.

The data showed that just under one-half of women had hypertension at age 72, rising to more than 70% at age 84.

Comparing the data to the two younger cohorts, born in 1946 to 1951, and 1973 to 1978, showed that hypertension increased with age.

However, the trajectory of hypertension in the youngest cohort suggested the prevalence of hypertension had decreased since 1980.

The picture was not as promising