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ABSTRACT: Angiotensin-II receptor antagonists (or blockers) are a newer class of antihypertensive agents. These drugs are selective for angiotensin II (type 1 receptor); unlike angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, they do not inhibit bradykinin metabolism or enhance prostaglandin synthesis. Angiotensin-II receptor antagonists are well tolerated. Cough occurs much less often with these agents than with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and they do not adversely affect lipid profiles or cause rebound hypertension after discontinuation. Clinical trials indicate that angiotensin-II receptor antagonists are effective and safe in the treatment of hypertension. Their use in congestive heart failure and renal disease is under investigation.
National Stroke Association Develops a Consensus Statement on Prevention of Stroke - Special Medical Reports
ABSTRACT: Hypertension in blacks is usually characterized by low renin, expanded volume and sensitivity to salt. Diuretics are the preferred initial therapy, but response to calcium channel antagonists is also good. The blood pressure response to monotherapy with beta blockers or angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors is blunted, but this effect is abolished with concomitant use of diuretics. The two major types of hypertension in older persons are isolated systolic hypertension and combined systolic and diastolic hypertension. Strong data support the treatment of combined hypertension in patients 60 to 79 years of age and isolated systolic hypertension in patients 60 to 96 years of age. Diuretics and long-acting dihydropyridine calcium channel antagonists are the recommended initial therapies for isolated systolic hypertension. More studies are necessary before recommendations can be made about the treatment of combined hypertension in patients 80 years of age and older.
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.
AHA and ACC Outline Approaches to Coronary Disease Risk Assessment - Practice Guidelines
ABSTRACT: High blood pressure in children and adolescents is a growing health problem that is often overlooked by physicians. Normal blood pressure values for children and adolescents are based on age, sex, and height, and are available in standardized tables. Prehypertension is defined as a blood pressure in at least the 90th percentile, but less than the 95th percentile, for age, sex, and height, or a measurement of 120/80 mm Hg or greater. Hypertension is defined as blood pressure in the 95th percentile or greater. A secondary etiology of hypertension is much more likely in children than in adults, with renal parenchymal disease and renovascular disease being the most common. Overweight and obesity are strongly correlated with primary hypertension in children. A history and physical examination are needed for all children with newly diagnosed hypertension to help rule out underlying medical disorders. Children with hypertension should also be screened for other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including diabetes mellitus and hyperlipidemia, and should be evaluated for target organ damage with a retinal examination and echocardiography. Hypertension in children is treated with lifestyle changes, including weight loss for those who are overweight or obese; a healthy, low-sodium diet; regular physical activity; and avoidance of tobacco and alcohol. Children with symptomatic hypertension, secondary hypertension, target organ damage, diabetes, or persistent hypertension despite nonpharmacologic measures should be treated with antihypertensive medications. Thiazide diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers, beta blockers, and calcium channel blockers are safe, effective, and well tolerated in children.
ABSTRACT: Interventions following a transient ischemic attack are aimed at preventing a future episode or stroke. Hypertension, current smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, diabetes mellitus, and dyslipidemia are all well-known risk factors, and controlling these factors can have dramatic effects on transient ischemic attack and stroke risk. For patients presenting within 48 hours of resolution of transient ischemic attack symptoms, advantages of hospital admission include rapid diagnostic evaluation and early intervention to reduce the risk of stroke. For long-term prevention of future stroke, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association recommends antiplatelet agents, statins, and carotid artery intervention for advanced stenosis. Aspirin, extended-release dipyridamole/aspirin, and clopidogrel are acceptable first-line antiplatelet agents. Statins have also been shown to reduce the risk of stroke following transient ischemic attack, with maximal benefit occurring with at least a 50 percent reduction in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level or a target of less than 70 mg per dL (1.81 mmol per L). For those with transient ischemic attack and carotid artery stenosis, carotid endarterectomy is recommended if stenosis is 70 to 99 percent, and perioperative morbidity and mortality are estimated to be less than 6 percent.
ABSTRACT: Transient ischemic attack is defined as transient neurologic symptoms without evidence of acute infarction. It is a common and important risk factor for future stroke, but is greatly underreported. Common symptoms are sudden and transient, and include unilateral paresis, speech disturbance, and monocular blindness. Correct and early diagnosis of transient ischemic attack versus mimicking conditions is important because early interventions can significantly reduce risk of future stroke. Nonspecific symptoms and gradual onset are more likely with mimics than with true transient ischemic attacks. Transient ischemic attacks are more likely with sudden onset, focal neurologic deficit, or speech disturbance. Urgent evaluation is necessary in patients with symptoms of transient ischemic attack and includes neuroimaging, cervicocephalic vasculature imaging, cardiac evaluation, blood pressure assessment, and routine laboratory testing. The ABCD2 (age, blood pressure, clinical presentation, diabetes mellitus, duration of symptoms) score should be determined during the initial evaluation and can help assess the immediate risk of repeat ischemia and stroke. Patients with higher ABCD2 scores should be treated as inpatients, whereas those with lower scores are at lower risk of future stroke and can be treated as outpatients.
Effect of Cocoa on Blood Pressure - Cochrane for Clinicians