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      Antihypertensive Therapy in Renal Patients – Benefits and Difficulties

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          High blood pressure values, diastolic and systolic, are associated with decreased renal function. This is particularly true when the diastolic blood pressure is higher than 90 mm Hg. Several studies showed that lowering of the blood pressure within the range of normotension according to the WHO causes a reduction in the rate of progression to terminal renal failure. These studies have led to recommendations to aim at a target blood pressure of approximately 125/75 mm Hg in the treatment of patients with glomerular diseases and particularly diabetic nephropathy with proteinuria >1 g/day. In contrast to these results, blood pressure values corresponding to the recommendation (≤125/75 mm Hg) of the JNC VI (see text) were achieved in 15% of the patients only. It has also been shown that at any given level of an average 24-hour blood pressure, patients with an insufficient decrease of the blood pressure during nighttime have a higher risk to progress to terminal renal failure. Thus it is very important to lower the nighttime blood pressure and to detect nighttime blood pressure increases using ambulatory blood pressure measurements.

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          Most cited references 9

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          The effect of nisoldipine as compared with enalapril on cardiovascular outcomes in patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes and hypertension.

          It has recently been reported that the use of calcium-channel blockers for hypertension may be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular complications. Because this issue remains controversial, we studied the incidence of such complications in patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and hypertension who were randomly assigned to treatment with either the calcium-channel blocker nisoldipine or the angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitor enalapril as part of a larger study. The Appropriate Blood Pressure Control in Diabetes (ABCD) Trial is a prospective, randomized, blinded trial comparing the effects of moderate control of blood pressure (target diastolic pressure, 80 to 89 mm Hg) with those of intensive control of blood pressure (diastolic pressure, 75 mm Hg) on the incidence and progression of complications of diabetes. The study also compared nisoldipine with enalapril as a first-line antihypertensive agent in terms of the prevention and progression of complications of diabetes. In the current study, we analyzed data on a secondary end point (the incidence of myocardial infarction) in the subgroup of patients in the ABCD Trial who had hypertension. Analysis of the 470 patients in the trial who had hypertension (base-line diastolic blood pressure, > or = 90 mm Hg) showed similar control of blood pressure, blood glucose and lipid concentrations, and smoking behavior in the nisoldipine group (237 patients) and the enalapril group (233 patients) throughout five years of follow-up. Using a multiple logistic-regression model with adjustment for cardiac risk factors, we found that nisoldipine was associated with a higher incidence of fatal and nonfatal myocardial infarctions (a total of 24) than enalapril (total, 4) (risk ratio, 9.5; 95 percent confidence interval, 2.7 to 33.8). In this population of patients with diabetes and hypertension, we found a significantly higher incidence of fatal and nonfatal myocardial infarction among those assigned to therapy with the calcium-channel blocker nisoldipine than among those assigned to receive enalapril. Since our findings are based on a secondary end point, they will require confirmation.
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            Inadequate management of blood pressure in a hypertensive population.

            Many patients with hypertension have inadequate control of their blood pressure. Improving the treatment of hypertension requires an understanding of the ways in which physicians manage this condition and a means of assessing the efficacy of this care. We examined the care of 800 hypertensive men at five Department of Veterans Affairs sites in New England over a two-year period. Their mean (+/-SD) age was 65.5+/-9.1 years, and the average duration of hypertension was 12.6+/-5.3 years. We used recursive partitioning to assess the probability that antihypertensive therapy would be increased at a given clinic visit using several variables. We then used these predictions to define the intensity of treatment for each patient during the study period, and we examined the associations between the intensity of treatment and the degree of control of blood pressure. Approximately 40 percent of the patients had a blood pressure of > or =160/90 mm Hg despite an average of more than six hypertension-related visits per year. Increases in therapy occurred during 6.7 percent of visits. Characteristics associated with an increase in antihypertensive therapy included increased levels of both systolic and diastolic blood pressure at that visit (but not previous visits), a previous change in therapy, the presence of coronary artery disease, and a scheduled visit. Patients who had more intensive therapy had significantly (P<0.01) better control of blood pressure. During the two-year period, systolic blood pressure declined by 6.3 mm Hg among patients with the most intensive treatment, but increased by 4.8 mm Hg among the patients with the least intensive treatment. In a selected population of older men, blood pressure was poorly controlled in many. Those who received more intensive medical therapy had better control. Many physicians are not aggressive enough in their approach to hypertension.
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              Effect of beta-blockade on mortality among high-risk and low-risk patients after myocardial infarction.

              Long-term administration of beta-adrenergic blockers to patients after myocardial infarction improves survival. However, physicians are reluctant to administer beta-blockers to many patients, such as older patients and those with chronic pulmonary disease, left ventricular dysfunction, or non-Q-wave myocardial infarction. The medical records of 201,752 patients with myocardial infarction were abstracted by the Cooperative Cardiovascular Project, which was sponsored by the Health Care Financing Administration. Using a Cox proportional-hazards model that accounted for multiple factors that might influence survival, we compared mortality among patients treated with beta-blockers with mortality among untreated patients during the two years after myocardial infarction. A total of 34 percent of the patients received beta-blockers. The percentage was lower among the very elderly, blacks, and patients with the lowest ejection fractions, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, elevated serum creatinine concentrations, or type 1 diabetes mellitus. Nevertheless, mortality was lower in every subgroup of patients treated with beta-blockade than in untreated patients. In patients with myocardial infarction and no other complications, treatment with beta-blockers was associated with a 40 percent reduction in mortality. Mortality was also reduced by 40 percent in patients with non-Q-wave infarction and those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Blacks, patients 80 years old or older, and those with a left ventricular ejection fraction below 20 percent, serum creatinine concentration greater than 1.4 mg per deciliter (124 micromol per liter), or diabetes mellitus had a lower percentage reduction in mortality. Given, however, the higher mortality rates in these subgroups, the absolute reduction in mortality was similar to or greater than that among patients with no specific risk factors. After myocardial infarction, patients with conditions that are often considered contraindications to beta-blockade (such as heart failure, pulmonary disease, and older age) and those with nontransmural infarction benefit from beta-blocker therapy.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                November 1999
                13 October 1999
                : 83
                : 3
                : 202-213
                Klinikum der Universität Heidelberg, Sektion Nephrologie, Heidelberg, Deutschland
                45512 Nephron 1999;83:202–213
                © 1999 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 5, References: 52, Pages: 12
                Self URI (application/pdf):
                Nephrology Grand Rounds. Clinical Issues in Nephrology . Section Editors: E. Ritz; M. Zeier, Heidelberg


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