Fifteen-year survival of patients beginning treatment with methyldopa between 1962 and 1966.
The 15-year survival of a group of 205 patients who started treatment in the period 1962 through 1966 and who received methyldopa for two-thirds or more of the time has been investigated. At entry these patients had severe hypertension with an average pretreatment pressure of 216/126 mm Hg. Twenty-one percent had retinal hemorrhages, cotton-wool spots, or papilledema. Blood pressure showed a large fall in the first year, followed by a small, progressive, further fall up to the sixth year. After 5 years of treatment the blood pressure averaged 144/90 mm Hg in men and 151/91 mm Hg in women. The average daily dose of methyldopa was approximately 1500 mg and changed little over the 15-year period. Survival was analyzed by life tables. Approximately 81% of men and women aged 30 to 49.9 years at entry were still alive 10 years later. In the age group 60 to 69.9 years, 53.8% of men and 63.2% of women were still alive 10 years later. Seventy-nine of the patients died during the follow-up period, 89% from cardiovascular or renal disease. Ischemic heart disease (40%) was the major cause of death, followed by stroke (19%). No patients died from drug toxicity.
- Copyright © 1984 by American Heart Association