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Efficacy of different drug classes used to initiate antihypertensive treatment in black subjects: results of a randomized trial in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Author(s): Sareli P, Radevski IV, Valtchanova ZP, Libhaber E, Candy GP, Den Hond E, Libhaber C, Skudicky D, Wang JG, Staessen JA

Affiliation(s): Department of Cardiology, Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital, University of the Witwatersrand, PO Bertsham, Johannesburg 2013, South Africa. psareli@iafrica.com

Publication date & source: 2001-04-09, Arch Intern Med., 161(7):965-71.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

BACKGROUND: Thiazides are recommended to initiate antihypertensive drug treatment in black subjects. OBJECTIVE: To test the efficacy of this recommendation in a South African black cohort. METHODS: Men and women (N = 409), aged 18 to 70 years, with a mean ambulatory daytime diastolic blood pressure between 90 and 114 mm Hg, were randomized to 13 months of open-label treatment starting with the nifedipine gastrointestinal therapeutic system (30 mg/d, n = 233), sustained-release verapamil hydrochloride (240 mg/d, n = 58), hydrochlorothiazide (12.5 mg/d, n = 58), or enalapril maleate (10 mg/d, n = 60). If the target of reducing daytime diastolic blood pressure below 90 mm Hg was not attained, the first-line drugs were titrated up and after 2 months other medications were added to the regimen. RESULTS: While receiving monotherapy (2 months, n = 366), the patients' systolic and diastolic decreases in daytime blood pressure averaged 22/14 mm Hg for nifedipine, 17/11 mm Hg for verapamil, 12/8 mm Hg for hydrochlorothiazide, and 5/3 mm Hg for enalapril. At 2 months the blood pressure of more patients treated with nifedipine was controlled: 133 (63.3%, P</=.03) vs 20 (39.9%) receiving verapamil, 21 (40.4%) receiving hydrochlorothiazide, and 11 (20.8%) receiving enalapril. At 13 months (n = 257), more patients (P<.001) continued receiving monotherapy with nifedipine (94/154 [61.0%]) or verapamil (22/35 [62.9%]) than hydrochlorothiazide (10/39 [25.6%]) or enalapril (1/29 [3.4%]). A sustained decrease of left ventricular mass (P<.001) with no between-group differences was achieved at 4 and 13 months. CONCLUSIONS: In contrast to current recommendations, calcium channel blockers are more effective than thiazides as initial treatment in black subjects with hypertension. If treatment is started with thiazides or converting-enzyme inhibitors, combination therapy is more likely to be required to control blood pressure and reduce left ventricular mass.

Page last updated: 2006-01-31

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