Treatment of hypertension in the elderly: I. Blood pressure and clinical changes. Results of a Department of Veterans Affairs Cooperative Study.
We compared the efficacy and adverse effects of antihypertensive drug regimens in 690 men past age 60 with diastolic blood pressure 90-114 mm Hg and systolic blood pressure less than 240 mm Hg. They received either a low (25-50 mg) or high (50-100 mg) dose of hydrochlorothiazide daily. Of 644 patients who completed the hydrochlorothiazide titration, 375 (58.2%) were responders (diastolic blood pressure less than 90 and less than or equal to 5 mm Hg below baseline) and 92.8% of these completed a 6-month maintenance period. Blood pressure was reduced from 157.6/98.5 mm Hg by 18.3/9.5 mm Hg with low dose hydrochlorothiazide and by 20.4/9.6 mm Hg with high dose hydrochlorothiazide; more patients achieved goal blood pressure with the high dose. Whites and blacks responded equally. Serum potassium less than 3.5 mmol/l occurred in 104 of 321 (32.3%) of the high dose versus 62 of 333 (18.6%) of the low dose hydrochlorothiazide patients. The 269 nonresponders to hydrochlorothiazide were randomly assigned in a double-blind study to receive hydralazine, methyldopa, metoprolol, or reserpine in addition to hydrochlorothiazide; 79.2% responded to the addition of the second drug and 87.3% of these completed a 6-month maintenance phase. Overall, there were no significant efficacy differences among the step 2 regimens. We conclude that the lower dose of hydrochlorothiazide was nearly as effective as the higher dose, and the addition of a second drug was effective and generally well tolerated in elderly patients.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association