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Comparative evaluation of enalapril and hydrochlorothiazide in elderly patients with mild to moderate hypertension.

Author(s): Gums JG, Lopez LM, Quay GP, Stein GH, McCarley DL

Affiliation(s): College of Pharmacy, University of Florida, Gainesville 32610.

Publication date & source: 1988-09, Drug Intell Clin Pharm., 22(9):680-4.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

Initial treatment of elderly hypertensive patients with an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor is currently discouraged due to such patients' typical low-renin profile. To validate this principle, we studied 38 elderly males (aged greater than or equal to 65 years) with mild to moderate hypertension, comparing hemodynamic responses to and subjective impressions of enalapril or hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ). After gradual withdrawal of existing antihypertensive therapy and a four-week, single-blind placebo period, each patient was randomized in a double-blind fashion to receive either enalapril 10-20 mg/d or HCTZ 12.5-25 mg/d for two to four weeks. Combination therapy with both agents was employed if either alone failed to reduce seated diastolic BP to less than or equal to 90 mm Hg. Equivalent proportions of patients receiving enalapril or HCTZ (8 of 19 and 10 of 19, respectively; p = ns) responded with significant reductions in systolic and diastolic BP in seated and standing positions. Combination therapy was most effective in patients receiving HCTZ prior to enalapril. In patients receiving enalapril before HCTZ, BP changes were minimal. No adverse effects were observed in the enalapril group but occurred in an equivalent fraction of patients in the other groups (4 of 10 HCTZ alone, 6 of 20 enalapril + HCTZ; p = ns). We conclude that enalapril may be considered a reasonable monotherapeutic antihypertensive agent in some elderly patients. Combination with HCTZ is beneficial in patients who fail to respond adequately to HCTZ alone.

Page last updated: 2006-01-31

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