How much can blood pressure be lowered?
Whatever the therapeutic goal proposed for diastolic blood pressure in hypertensive patients, the actual results of treatment in various health care delivery systems throughout the world are not as good as generally assumed. In the two recent controlled therapeutic trials, 24.5% (Australian trial) and 29.9% (Hypertension Detection and Follow-up Program) of actively treated patients had diastolic blood pressure levels above 90 mm Hg. In three British hospital clinics, diastolic blood pressure was greater than 90 mm Hg in 69% of the treated patients after 6 months to 1 year of treatment. In our own clinic, the blood pressure of 947 hypertensive patients registered in the Artemis system (Paris) between 1976 to 1980 decreased after 2 years on medical treatment from 177/108 to 142/87 mm Hg. However 21.1% of the patients studied still had a diastolic blood pressure above 95 mm Hg. In the general population, the percentage of treated patients not attaining goal levels varies from 42.9% to 71%. Not only is it important to agree upon goals, but it is urgent to standardize methods for collecting and analyzing the results of antihypertensive treatments in various health care delivery systems, since high rates of therapeutic failures might be related to the physician's strategy, the patient's characteristics, the disease's particularities, and the limited efficacy and side-effects of presently available drugs.
- Copyright © 1983 by American Heart Association