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Quality of life in hypertensive patients treated with either carvedilol or enalapril.

Author(s): Ostergren J, Storstein L, Karlberg BE, Tibblin G

Affiliation(s): Department of Internal Medicine, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.

Publication date & source: 1996-01, Blood Press., 5(1):41-9.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial

An important aspect of antihypertensive drug treatment is quality of life (QL) which should at least not be negatively affected. In this study, the QL during treatment with carvedilol (C), a beta-blocker with vasodilating properties due to alpha-1-receptor blockade, was compared to that of enalapril (E) in patients who had responded to the treatment. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with mild to moderate hypertension (diastolic blood pressure 95-115 mmHg) were randomised to receive either E(n = 119) of C(n = 129) in a double-blind multicenter study. The starting doses were 12.5 (C) and 10 (E) mg with doubling of the dose if necessary at 3-week intervals. If insufficient blood pressure (BP) control was found at 50 mg C or 40 mg E, 12.5 mg of hydrochlorothiazide was added. After having reached the goal BP the patients entered a 5-months maintenance period. General well-being was evaluated by the "Goteborg Quality of Life Questionnaire". RESULTS: Equally many patients in the respective treatment groups responded at the different dose levels. Diastolic BP after 5 months in the maintenance period was similar on C and E, respectively. For most items, QL was not affected by the treatments. An increased incidence of cough was perceived in the E group (p < 0.001). None of the C treated patients reported frequent cough at the end of the study compared with 12% of E treated patients. CONCLUSION: C and E had similar BP lowering effects. Neither treatment seemed to affect the patients QL adversely. Cough, although seldom leading to withdrawal from the therapy, may be more common than is commonly recognised during treatment with ACE-inhibitors.

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