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Treating high blood pressure: is reaching the target more important than the means? No, the means are important.
European Journal of Internal Medicine
Publication types: Journal ArticlePublication Status: ppublish. pdf type: debate
All major antihypertensive drug classes i.e. diuretics, beta-blockers, calcium antagonists and blockers of the renin-angiotensin system have been shown to effectively lower blood pressure and hence to reduce cardiovascular outcomes in hypertensive patients. These drugs decrease cardiovascular complications in hypertension essentially because they reduce systemic blood pressure. Nevertheless, there is growing evidence that the extent of the benefits differed between drug classes suggesting that the various classes of antihypertensive agents are not equivalent in their ability to protect against target organ damages and cardiovascular and renal endpoints. More recently, evidence has also accumulated to demonstrate that even combination therapies are not equally effective in reducing the occurrence of cardiovascular complications in hypertension. These recent observations suggest that the means to lower blood pressure are as important as the achieved target blood pressure in the management of hypertensive patients.
Antihypertensive Agents/therapeutic use, Blood Pressure/drug effects, Comorbidity, Heart Diseases/epidemiology, Heart Diseases/prevention & control, Humans, Hypertension, Renal/drug therapy, Hypertension, Renal/epidemiology, Stroke/epidemiology, Stroke/prevention & control
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