Persistence and adherence to antihypertensive treatment in relation to initial prescription: diuretics versus other classes of antihypertensive drugs.
ABSTRACT The use of thiazide diuretics in the treatment of hypertension is widely considered as a first-line treatment, given the efficacy and low cost of this class of drugs. This indication is not unanimous, because thiazides can cause metabolic alterations, and other side effects that reduce compliance and persistence on treatment.
In a multicentre, open-label randomized study we compared adherence and persistence to therapy of chlortalidone versus other treatments, as a first-line antihypertensive therapy.
Ninety-two general practitioners (GPs) recruited 2409 hypertensive patients with indication to antihypertensive therapy, who were randomized in two arms to start treatment with chlortalidone (12.5-25 mg daily) or any other single medications (excluding thiazides). The patients have been followed for at least 2 years.
Patients receiving diuretic therapy as first-line antihypertensive treatment, modified antihypertensive treatment regimen more often than the others (79.1 versus 43.9%; χ (2)< 0.0001). Patients starting with diuretics received greater number of drugs, compared to patients starting with different antihypertensive therapy (1.55 versus 1.4 antihypertensive drugs; P < 0.0001), but achieved the same blood pressure (BP) control during the follow-up. No differences were observed in persistence and adherence to treatment between the two groups.
Our results demonstrate that the recommendation to start antihypertensive therapy with diuretics, when no compelling indications are present, is not supported by the evidence that this strategy produces more rapid and better control of BP.
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ABSTRACT: Calcium antagonists are a first-line treatment for hypertension. The effectiveness of diltiazem, a non-dihydropyridine calcium antagonist, in reducing cardiovascular morbidity or mortality is unclear. We compared the effects of diltiazem with that of diuretics, beta-blockers, or both on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in hypertensive patients. In a prospective, randomised, open, blinded endpoint study, we enrolled 10,881 patients, aged 50-74 years, at health centres in Norway and Sweden, who had diastolic blood pressure of 100 mm Hg or more. We randomly assigned patients diltiazem, or diuretics, beta-blockers, or both. The combined primary endpoint was fatal and non-fatal stroke, myocardial infarction, and other cardiovascular death. Analysis was done by intention to treat. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure were lowered effectively in the diltiazem and diuretic and beta-blocker groups (reduction 20.3/18.7 vs 23.3/18.7 mm Hg; difference in systolic reduction p<0.001). A primary endpoint occurred in 403 patients in the diltiazem group and in 400 in the diuretic and beta-blocker group (16.6 vs 16.2 events per 1000 patient-years; relative risk 1.00 [95% CI 0.87-1.15], p=0.97). Fatal and non-fatal stroke occurred in 159 patients in the diltiazem group and in 196 in the diuretic and beta-blocker group (6.4 vs 7.9 events per 1000 patient-years; 0.80 [0.65-0.99], p=0.04) and fatal and non-fatal myocardial infarction in 183 and 157 patients (7.4 vs 6.3 events per 1000 patient-years; 1.16 [0.94-1.44], p=0.17). Diltiazem was as effective as treatment based on diuretics, beta-blockers, or both in preventing the combined primary endpoint of all stroke, myocardial infarction, and other cardiovascular death.The Lancet 07/2000; 356(9227):359-65. · 39.06 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Inadequate blood pressure (BP) control could be due to incorrect management of hypertensives caused by the lack of interaction between general practitioners (GP) and hypertension specialists. To test the effectiveness on BP and total cardiovascular risk (TCVR) control of an internet-based digital network connecting specialists and GPs. We created a network among the Hypertension Clinic, Federico II University (Naples, Italy), 23 hospital-based hypertension clinics and 60 GPs from the area (CampaniaSalute Network, CS). Randomized GPs enrolled in CS could update online records of patients (n = 1979). As a control, we included 2045 patients referred to the specialist clinics by GPs from outside the network. All patients completed a 2-year follow-up. CS provided a larger reduction in BP [systolic/diastolic BP (SBP/DBP): 7.3 +/- 0.4/5.4 +/- 0.3 versus 4.1 +/- 0.4/3.1 +/- 0.26 mmHg, CS versus control; P < 0.001 for both] and percentage of patients with BP < 140/90 mmHg (CS versus control: baseline, 33 versus 34%, NS; end of follow-up, 51 versus 47%, chi = 13.371; P < 0.001). A European Society of Hypertension-European Society of Cardiology (ESH/ESC) TCVR score was calculated [from 1 (average) to 5 (very high TCVR)]. The CS group showed a reduction in the mean TCVR score (CS: from 3.5 +/- 0.02 to 3.2 +/- 0, P < 0.01, ANOVA; control group: 3.5 +/- 0.03 to 3.4 +/- 0.03, NS) and, accordingly, fatal and non-fatal major cardiovascular events (MACE) were less frequent (2.9 versus 4.3%; chi = 5.047, P < 0.02). CS predicts fewer MACE in multiple binary regression analysis (beta:-7.27, P < 0.008) reducing the risk for MACE compared to control [odds ratio (OR): 0.838; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.73-0.96]. Our results support the idea that telemedicine can achieve better control of BP and TCVR.Journal of Hypertension 08/2005; 23(7):1417-23. · 4.22 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The benefits of reducing blood pressure on the risks of major cardiovascular disease are well established, but uncertainty remains about the comparative effects of different blood-pressure-lowering regimens. We aimed to estimate effects of strategies based on different drug classes (angiotensin-converting-enzyme [ACE] inhibitors, calcium antagonists, angiotensin-receptor blockers [ARBs], and diuretics or beta blockers) or those targeting different blood pressure goals, on the risks of major cardiovascular events and death. We did seven sets of prospectively-designed overviews with data from 29 randomised trials (n=162341). The trial eligibility criteria, primary outcomes, and main hypotheses were specified before the result of any contributing trial was known. In placebo-controlled trials the relative risks of total major cardiovascular events were reduced by regimens based on ACE inhibitors (22%; 95% CI 17-27) or calcium antagonists (18%; 5-29). Greater risk reductions were produced by regimens that targeted lower blood pressure goals (15%; 5-24). ARB-based regimens reduced the risks of total major cardiovascular events (10%; 4-17) compared with control regimens. There were no significant differences in total major cardiovascular events between regimens based on ACE inhibitors, calcium antagonists, or diuretics or beta blockers, although ACE-inhibitor-based regimens reduced blood pressure less. There was evidence of some differences between active regimens in their effects on cause-specific outcomes. For every outcome other than heart failure, the difference between randomised groups in achieved blood pressure reduction was directly related to the observed difference in risk. Treatment with any commonly-used regimen reduces the risk of total major cardiovascular events, and larger reductions in blood pressure produce larger reductions in risk.The Lancet 12/2003; 362(9395):1527-35. · 39.06 Impact Factor