Items in AFP with MESH term: Antihypertensive Agents
ABSTRACT: Athletes and other physically active patients should be screened for hypertension and given appropriate therapy if needed. Mild hypertension should be treated with non-pharmacologic measures for six months. If blood pressure control is adequate, lifestyle modifications are continued. If control is inadequate, low-dose therapy with an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or a calcium channel blocker may be started. A thiazide diuretic may be used as first-line treatment for hypertension in casually active patients; however, diuretic therapy is less desirable in high-intensity or endurance athletes because of the risk of hypovolemia or hypokalemia. If beta blockade is needed, a combined alpha-beta blocker may be the best choice. When the target blood pressure is achieved, long-term follow-up care and management should be emphasized. If excellent control is maintained for six to 12 months, medication may be reduced or withdrawn in a small number of patients. If the target blood pressure is not achieved, the medication dosage may be adjusted, or a second medication, usually a diuretic, may be added. Physicians need to be aware of the effects of various medications on exercise tolerance and the rules for participation established by sports regulatory bodies (Am Fam Physician 2002;66:457-8).
ABSTRACT: The National High Blood Pressure Education Program's Working Group on High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy recently issued a report implicating hypertension as a complication in 6 to 8 percent of pregnancies. Hypertension in pregnancy is related to one of four conditions: (1) chronic hypertension that predates pregnancy; (2) preeclampsia-eclampsia, a serious, systemic syndrome of elevated blood pressure, proteinuria and other findings; (3) chronic hypertension with superimposed preeclampsia; and (4) gestational hypertension, or nonproteinuric hypertension of pregnancy. Edema is no longer a criterion for preeclampsia, and the definition of blood pressure elevation is 140/90 mm Hg or higher. Patients with gestational hypertension have previously unrecognized chronic hypertension, emerging preeclampsia or transient hypertension of pregnancy, an obstetrically benign condition. Because distinguishing among these conditions can be done only in retrospect, clinical management of gestational hypertension consists of repeated evaluations to look for signs of emerging preeclampsia. Women with chronic hypertension should be followed for evidence of fetal growth restriction or superimposed preeclampsia. Management options for chronic hypertension in most women include discontinuing antihypertensive medications during pregnancy, switching to methyldopa or continuing previous antihypertensive therapy.
Using ACE Inhibitors Appropriately - Article
ABSTRACT: When first introduced in 1981, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors were indicated only for treatment of refractory hypertension. Since then, they have been shown to reduce morbidity or mortality in congestive heart failure, myocardial infarction, diabetes mellitus, chronic renal insufficiency, and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Pathologies underlying these conditions are, in part, attributable to the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. Angiotensin II contributes to endothelial dysfunction. altered renal hemodynamics, and vascular and cardiac hypertrophy. ACE inhibitors attenuate these effects. Clinical outcomes of ACE inhibition include decreases in myocardial infarction (fatal and nonfatal), reinfarction, angina, stroke, end-stage renal disease, and morbidity and mortality associated with heart failure. ACE inhibitors are generally well tolerated and have few contraindications. (Am Fam Physician 2002;66:473.)
ABSTRACT: Hypertension and diabetes mellitus are common diseases in the United States. Patients with diabetes have a much higher rate of hypertension than would be expected in the general population. Regardless of the antihypertensive agent used, a reduction in blood pressure helps to prevent diabetic complications. Barring contraindications, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors are considered first-line therapy in patients with diabetes and hypertension because of their well-established renal protective effects. Calcium channel blockers, low-dose diuretics, beta blockers, and alpha blockers have also been studied in this group. Most diabetic patients with hypertension require combination therapy to achieve optimal blood pressure goals.
ABSTRACT: The management of hypertension has evolved over the past decade. Isolated systolic blood pressure elevation, the most common form of uncontrolled hypertension, is recognized as a significant risk factor for vascular complications in patients with hypertension. Nutritional management of hypertension has moved beyond simply restricting sodium intake to ensuring that patients consume adequate amounts of the major food groups, particularly those containing calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Selective aldosterone receptor blockers are a new class of antihypertensive medication, and the angiotensin-receptor blocker class has several new additions. However, the main-stay of treatment remains a diuretic or a combination of a diuretic and either a beta blocker or an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor. Hypertension is a significant risk factor for vascular complications of diabetes, and the target blood pressure in patients with diabetes or chronic renal disease and hypertension should be lower than that in patients with hypertension alone. Controlling hypertension in elderly patients can reduce their complications at least as much as it does those of younger patients with hypertension.
Diagnosis and Management of Preeclampsia - Article
ABSTRACT: Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-specific multisystem disorder of unknown etiology. The disorder affects approximately 5 to 7 percent of pregnancies and is a significant cause of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. Preeclampsia is defined by the new onset of elevated blood pressure and proteinuria after 20 weeks of gestation. It is considered severe if blood pressure and proteinuria are increased substantially or symptoms of end-organ damage (including fetal growth restriction) occur. There is no single reliable, cost-effective screening test for preeclampsia, and there are no well-established measures for primary prevention. Management before the onset of labor includes close monitoring of maternal and fetal status. Management during delivery includes seizure prophylaxis with magnesium sulfate and, if necessary, medical management of hypertension. Delivery remains the ultimate treatment. Access to prenatal care, early detection of the disorder, careful monitoring, and appropriate management are crucial elements in the prevention of preeclampsia-related deaths.
ABSTRACT: Antihypertensive therapy has been shown to reduce morbidity and mortality in older patients with elevated systolic or diastolic blood pressures. This benefit appears to persist in patients older than 80 years, but less than one third of older patients have adequate blood pressure control. Systolic blood pressure is the most important predictor of cardiovascular disease. Blood pressure measurement in older persons should include an evaluation for orthostatic hypotension. Low-dose thiazide diuretics remain first-line therapy for older patients. Beta blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin-receptor blockers, and calcium channel blockers are second-line medications that should be selected based on comorbidities and risk factors.
Diabetic Nephropathy: Common Questions - Article
ABSTRACT: Diabetic nephropathy, or diabetic kidney disease, affects 20 to 30 percent of patients with diabetes. It is a common cause of kidney failure. Diabetic nephropathy presents in its earliest stage with low levels of albumin (microalbuminuria) in the urine. The most practical method of screening for microalbuminuria is to assess the albumin-to-creatinine ratio with a spot urine test. Results of two of three tests for microalbuminuria should be more than 30 mg per day or 20 mcg per minute in a three- to six-month period to diagnose a patient with diabetic nephropathy. Slowing the progression of diabetic nephropathy can be achieved by optimizing blood pressure (130/80 mm Hg or less) and glycemic control, and by prescribing an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker. Patients with diabetes and isolated microalbuminuria or hypertension benefit from angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers. In the event that these medications cannot be prescribed, a nondihydropyridine calcium channel blocker may be considered. Serum creatinine and potassium levels should be monitored carefully for patients receiving angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers. These medications should be stopped if hyperkalemia is pronounced.
ABSTRACT: Less than 25 percent of patients with hypertension in the United States have their blood pressure under control, mainly because of inadequate or inappropriate therapy and noncompliance. Approximately one half of these treatment failures are related to factors such as cost and adverse effects of medication, complex drug regimens, failure of clinicians to fully realize the benefits of antihypertensive therapy and lack of patient education. Other major causes of unresponsiveness to antihypertensive therapy include "white coat" hypertension, pseudohypertension, obesity, volume overload, excess alcohol intake and sleep apnea, as well as inappropriate antihypertensive drugs and drug combinations, and unfavorable interactions with prescription and other drugs. In many patients, these factors must be dealt with before blood pressure can be controlled.
ABSTRACT: The sixth report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC-VI) includes recommendations for the assessment of overall cardiovascular risk and the need for active antihypertensive drug therapy. Once the decision to initiate antihypertensive drug therapy has been made, JNC-VI recommends one of three paths for the choice of initial therapy: one path for patients with uncomplicated hypertension, another for those with well-defined indications for certain drugs and a third path for patients with various concomitant conditions in which one or another drug has favorable effects. At this time, the place for the newest class of antihypertensive drugs, the angiotensin II receptor antagonists, remains uncertain. Currently, they are considered reasonable alternatives for patients who have a compelling need for an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor but develop a cough while taking this medication. When data from ongoing trials become available, angiotensin II receptor antagonists may prove to be a good choice for initial therapy in many patients because of the favorable side effect profile of this class of drugs.