Kelly B. Zarnke, MD, MSc, Departments of Medicine, Epidemiology & Biostatistics, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, and on behalf of the Canadian Hypertension Education Program (CHEP).
Poor blood pressure control, particularly among the older Canadian population, remains an important cause of preventable cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. It behooves Canadian health care workers to identify, treat and control hypertension. Recent trials, including ALLHAT and LIFE, add to the information clinicians need to achieve these targets. ALLHAT establishes the central role of thiazide-like diuretics for many hypertensive patients. ALLHAT demonstrates that good blood pressure control can be achieved in the majority of hypertensive patients if a systematic effort is maintained. LIFE adds important information regarding angiotensin receptor blockers as an effective alternative to the other commonly used classes of antihypertensive drugs, particularly among patients with diabetes or isolated systolic hypertension. Finally, the Canadian Hypertension Education Program will continue to produce and disseminate annually updated systematic reviews and recommendations related to the assessment and management of hypertension.
Key words: hypertension, recent clinical trials, clinical practice guidelines.
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